In Nardò, in the province of Lecce, since the late 80s, the seasonal harvest of watermelon, and more recently that of tomato, attracts significant number of migrant workers. The organization of work is essentially based on the caporalato (illegal recruitment of agricultural workers), declined in different forms. In the summer of 2011, a group of laborers housed in a camp managed by a group of associations in an old manor farm of public property, organized themselves and created, for the first time in the territory, forms of struggle through strikes and picket lines lasted more than a month. This paper, through field notes and excerpts of interviews, traces the case of seasonal workers of Nardo, in connection between the experience of 2011 with the current and past situation, also reflecting on the kind of relationships activated among workers, the different organizations in the area and public institutions.
Keywords: Farmworker, illegal hiring, strike, seasonal laborers