The former forward of the Italian clubs Fiorentina and Roma said that his workers are “in accordance with the law” and under the Statute of the Rural Laborer.
The former forward of the Argentine national soccer team Gabriel Omar Batistuta, now a businessman in the fields and livestock in the province of Santa Fe, in the east of his country, has been denounced for alleged labor “exploitation” and for supporting his workers in “deplorable” living conditions.
The accusations against the ex-soccer player were made on Wednesday by the Secretary General of the Argentine Union of Rural Workers and Stevedores (Uatre), Jose Voytencoin an interview with Radio The Networkwhere he commented that they discovered the situation from an inspection they carried out in that province, after complaints from the peasants.
Voytenco commented that in the specific case of the fields belonging to Batistuta, the workers would be in a “exploitative, poorly paid” situation, under “deplorable” living conditions and without access to a supply of drinking water. In addition, they would work more than the eight hours established by law, without overtime payments, nor adequate clothing for the work, and there are even disabled personnel.
“The impossibility of accessing the fields, first, and once we accessed, what really caught our attention, we meet with these calamities. It’s outrageous what you can see within the cattle farms as in this case of Mr. Batistuta”, said Voytenco, who added that they have not yet been able to establish contact with the former soccer player.
The head of Uatre added that, in general terms, the working and living conditions of farm workers in Santa Fe, in addition to what would be happening on the Batistuta land, is “exploitation.”
This means a subhuman situation, without water, without food, without having the basic necessary facilities to develop, with payments much lower than what the salary scales mark, with child labor, quite complicated situations from the social point of view,” he warned.
“We respect union agreements”
After the complaint, the former Argentine soccer player, 54 years old and retired since 2005, reacted through his social networks and rejected the accusations against him, stating that his workers are in legal conditions, signed in accordance with the Labor Contract Law and the Rural Peon Statute.
“Our workers enroll in accordance with the law of the LCT and the Statute of the Rural Laborer. We respect union agreements. We have a labor doctor and a graduate in industry safety and hygiene permanently to verify the conditions of the entire establishment,” Batitusta responded to the accusations against him.
The former player of Fiorentina and Roma of Italy also commented that in his fields he has built 35 houses for the use of rural staff and their families.
WE RESPECT THE UNION AGREEMENTS WE HAVE A LABOR DOCTOR AND A GRADUATE IN INDUSTRY SAFETY AND HYGIENE PERMANENTLY TO VERIFY THE CONDITIONS OF THE ENTIRE ESTABLISHMENT. THOSE IMAGES ARE TODAY INSIDE THE FIELD ALL THIS AND MORE, IS IT A BREACH?
—Gabriel Batistuta (@GBatistutaOK) July 6, 2023
“We built a house per year, we invested in the school, roads, electric power and solar screens.“added Batistuta, who accompanied his messages with four photos of the place. “The images are today inside the field. Is all this and more non-compliance?“, he questioned.
Batistuta, known in the football world as ‘Batigol’, was denounced for tax evasion in March 2022when the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) seized it for almost 4 million pesos (about 15,400 dollars) for tax breaches.
In August of that same year, he suffered another judicial embargo for refusing to pay 71 million pesos (273,500 dollars) to the Solidarity and Extraordinary Contribution of the Great Fortunesa tax created by law to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
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