Palermo

Palermo call centre pays workers 2-3 euros per hour

Finance police bust business paying 37 workers under-the-table

Palermo call centre pays workers 2-3 euros per hour

Palermo, July 31 - Finance police in the Sicilian city of Palermo uncovered a call-centre that paid its 37 workers two to three euros per hour under-the-table, police said on Wednesday. The employees, aged 19 to 50, pitched water-filters under fictitious contracts based on minimum sales quotas, but in truth were paid a miserly hourly wage in funds loaded onto prepaid cash cards. There were 22 workers at the time of the bust, but police tracked down another 15 workers who had worked for the company since it opened in May 2012. Finance police found that the company owner had paid more than 80,000 euros in wages over six months without making tax or pension contributions of any sort. In addition, workers did not receive a letter of employment, nor a formal contract nor did they sign payment receipts. By dodging a national, collective contract covering the sector, the business owner saved more than 40,000 euros in social security benefits that should have been paid on behalf of the workers. The owner faces administrative fines between 72,725 and 644,330 euros.

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