Images that illustrated the situation of an entire generation. The video of an Italian waiter, appearing to confront his employer to demand better pay for his hours, has gone viral on TikTok in Italy where many young people are paid a pittance and black.
Viewed nearly 500,000 times on the social network in the space of three days and widely commented in the media, it shows Mohamed, who works in a restaurant in Modena, near Bologna, and has just finished his six-hour shift, from 18 p.m. to midnight.
He has served dozens of customers, some of whom "treat him so badly" that he is on the verge of tears, he says in the video.
"How much do you want? 30 euros? »
At the time of recovering his wages from his employer, he gives him 20 euros, from hand to hand, as the balance of any account. A little more than three euros an hour, under the table: neither social contributions nor pension.
Mohamed protests. And decides to broadcast the chat live on his TikTok account under the pseudonym chinwiii.730. "How much do you want? 30 euros? " asks the employer. "30 euros either, that's four euros an hour, are you kidding me? Undeclared workers, we pay them at least eight euros, "says the young man, according to which 50 euros had been promised to him.
The Italian trade union centres Cgil, Cisl and Uil denounced in a joint statement "common abuses, of the same nature, in many sectors", after the release of the video.
Stefano Corghi, president of a collective of restaurateurs in the city of Modena, said: "We are not all like that."
Many young Italians unemployed
Italy is among the last five countries in the European Union, along with Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Austria, where there is no statutory minimum wage, wages being determined by collective bargaining alone.
The centre-left opposition submitted a bill this year to create a minimum income set at 9 euros gross per hour, a project that is however opposed by the right-wing and far-right coalition led by Giorgia Meloni.
"I broke my back," Mohamed continues in his video. "Is this how you want to make young people work, how you want to enrich yourself? It is said that young Italians do not want to work. How can one say such a thing? Shame on you, Italian employers."
Tired of war, the restaurateur ends up giving him 50 euros. "I am unemployed and looking for work. I sent my CV everywhere, so far without reply," he told Il Corriere della Sera daily.
Youth unemployment in Italy is one of the highest in Europe, at 21%, and triple the Italian national average, according to the National Institute of Statistics.