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From our correspondent in Italy

Romanians - dramatic fatalities' figure on the Italian construction sites

Marţi, 29 septembrie 2009, 17:43 English | Regional Europe

Hora participantilor
Over 500 Romanians took part in the second "Intercultural Feast for construction sites safety" edition on Sunday in central Rome, Italy. The festival was dedicated to foreign workers, less informed on their working rights as their Italian co-workers. 75% of the foreign workers on the Italian construction sites are Romanian.

Over 22.000 Romanians are listed with Casa Edile - a social house for the regional construction workers. Plus, the second biggest number of fatalities on Italian construction sites is recorded with Romanians, after the figures for Italians.

On September 27, Sunday, one could hear almost only Romanian in Vittorio Emanuele Piata, where people received information leaflets printed with the health and safety norms on construction sites. They also received kits containing safety belts, helmets and footwear. The authorities awarded ten prices worth of 250 euros each. One Romanian who won told that he was living out of his unemployment benefit, which he is entitled to receive for eight months. Construction work is scarcer these days, but the man said he was not planning to return to Romania.

In 2008 in Lazio, there were 5.594 work fatalities, out of which 1.871 involved Romanians. Out of 14 dead foreign workers, 6 were Romanians. Since the start of 2009, at least 12 Romanian citizens died on the construction sites in Rome, according to Daniel Grigoriu, the representatives for Romanians with the Italian Construction Workers' Federation (CGIL). CHIL is the biggest union in Italy, with over 6,000 Romanians listed for Rome only.
People present at the event were showed how to use health and safety equipment. Inspector for Rome construction sites investigations Vicenzo Palluzzi told that "we don't differentiate between companies owned by Italians or foreigners", but said that foreign company owners are less aware of the Italian law.

Palluzzi said the number of construction companies owned by Romanians was increasing. According to him, in the last year their figures jumped by 40% and Romanian companies were cheaper than Italian businesses.

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