meanwhile in Greece

27.Apr.08 - Last week after some newspapers reported on slave albour conditions migrants working as strawberry pickers in greece, the migrants in the rural area of Manolada went on strike. The workers from South Asia and the Balkans demand that their daily wage be increased from €23 to €30 (based on 12 hour work day and having rent for living in makeshift tents deducted by their employers). It is the first time that migrants in rural Greece are going on strike.

Their employers have denied to give in to these demands (they are claiming that this would ruin them). Subseqeuntly 400 of the striking migrants were attacked by attacked by farmers and hired thugs. 3 trade unionists have been hurt and received treatment in hospitals. So far the poice have arreted 1 framer and 60 of the striking migrants

The clashes occurred in an area hit by last year's fires, and where slave labour conditions for fruit pickers have recently been revealed. The fighting took place in the village square of Neo Manolada in the province of Ilia - which produces 90% of Greece's strawberries, and whose agriculture was ruined during the fires.

Most of the pickers are immigrants, and receive wages well below the national average. They live in shacks and are forced to pay as much as half their income in rent to their employers. Most of them came to Greece to send money back home to their families. But with food prices rising in Greece as elsewhere in the world, the migrants say they are finding it impossible to survive.

strawberry picker

strawberry pickers

strawberry picker

strawberry fields


more pictures are available on the noborder network flickr page