Dismissed and sued, Moroccan workers win legal battle against their employer in Italy

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Eight Moroccan workers, supported by an Italian trade union, won their case this week after being sacked by their employer and accused of violence. The verdict pronounced by the court of Alessandria comes almost 9 years after the facts, reports Alessandria Oggi.                      

This legal battle began in the summer of 2012. Moroccan workers, without wages for weeks, denounced this situation. The Lazzaro family who employed them then placed a sign calling on Moroccan workers to leave the premises and announcing that they no longer work for the farm. 

They were replaced by Indian workers. A dismissal deemed abusive, discriminatory and racist which pushed the workers to protest. The family responded by lodging a complaint against the workers and accusing them of «violence» and «attempting to occupy the company».

The Lazzaro family had first brought a civil action before opening separate proceedings against around thirty people, including Moroccan workers and trade unionists, asking for compensation of 1.5 million euros for alleged damage. 

Three years ago, the company and its managers were convicted of unfair dismissal and ill-treatment. Two members of the Lazzaro family were sentenced to 1 year and 7 months in prison, while an employee of the company received a one year 3 months suspended sentence. The company must also pay around 400,000 euros to Moroccan workers, who have been officially cleared of the charges brought against them by their ex-employer.

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