Media outlets corroborate my idea concerning Italy’s “mexicanization,” which is to say the process– unfortunately already begun and irreversible– that will bring our country, as a result of globalization (where the world is running faster than we can keep up), to have three distant and parallel “heads.”
According to the Mexican model, two realities will flank a modern industrial-agricultural sector made up of excellences capable of exporting Made in Italy throughout the world (Modena’s hydraulics, packaging machines in Bologna, wines from Franciacorta, etc.): a large “black” area with big companies at its interior and to whom law enforcement will turn a blind eye in order to prevent people from committing crimes; and a third very strong criminal sector. And as I said at the time, the only chance we have in the face of such a scenario is to try to maintain an equilibrium between these three macro-realities.
The example that my sources report concerns the new boundary Chinese are experiencing in Prato with the second phase of “Chineseization” of Italian low-middle textile production. The famous Chinese laborers in Prato, both in tailoring and knitwear, have become companies in all respects, hiring lots of Italian personnel (especially for commercial and administrative roles), and even selling outside of Italy. These organizations have become important trade partners for many Italian textile manufacturers. The process may have seemed to be going well up until this point because it was normalized to the law. Instead, if we go to the root of the problem, to the companies that sew these clothes, the landscape becomes desperate and very dangerous.
Lately, especially in northern Italy, the Chinese entrepreneurial “galaxy” is having difficulty finding manual manpower with the consequent closure of many textile micro-laboratories, a problem similar to the other Chinese big business in Italy, restaurants, and their difficulty in finding employees that accept their miserable salaries and excessive work hours.
Why? It’s a result of the latest boundary experienced by Chinese workers in Prato’s textile industry, which is supplanting the mini-laboratory system of 8-12 people. Someone rents a warehouse, obviously from an Italian. He subdivides it with simple lines painted on the floor into distinct zones of 15-25 square meters and places 3 or 4 sewing machines in each. Then, he rents these equipped spaces for 1,500-2,000 euros per month. To whom? To families or groups– always Chinese– of 3 to 4 workers, who also put mattresses in their workspaces to sleep on. At this point, the biggest Chinese companies– the customers– distribute the work directly or through intermediaries to all these “little rooms.”
Such a mechanism is obviously run 100% under the table. The production quality is inevitably very low, but every equipped workspace can provide its workers (who toil up to 16 hours per day) about 8,000 euros per month. The system becomes very attractive to Chinese laborers who leave restaurants and textile mini-labs.
What about the authorities? you might ask. There seems to be an unmistakable round of bribes to avoid these realities and everything can be disassembled the day before an eventual inspection. In the meantime, so we don’t miss anything, what about the underground textiles from Naples, made famous by Saviano’s Gomorra? Well, I hear that the sewing costs are lower than those in Morocco and Tunisia.
In conclusion, in the face of all this, we may soon need to talk about the Italianization of Mexico more than the Mexicanization of Italy.