Rome

Union says many former mafia businesses fail in legal hands

CGIL presents 100,000 signatures asking government to save jobs

Union says many former mafia businesses fail in legal hands

Rome, June 3 - The mafia does a better job running businesses and protecting its workers than do many legitimate employers, a union official complained Monday. The CGIL union claims that too many businesses seized from mafia figures and sold to legitimate entrepreneurs are failing - and that is jeopardizing the jobs of their workers. It claims that the number of confiscated businesses has jumped by 70% since the beginning of the economic crisis in 2008. And as many as 90% of those fail, claims the CGIL, which met with government officials about the problem. Serena Sorrentino, federal secretary of the CGIL, says that 100,000 signatures have been collected on a petition calling on government to do more to help confiscated businesses remain afloat and thus, protect workers' jobs. It notes that the regions with the highest number of seized companies include Sicily, accounting for 36%, Campania, with 20%, Lombardy, 13%, and Lazio, with 8%. The businesses are mostly in the service sector, at 55% of former mafia companies; and construction, representing 27%.

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