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GS-Carrefour, 'labor tanks' and tax fraud

Supermarkets GS spa, a Carrefour group, is the latest operator investigated for tax fraud and exploitation of workers, treated as 'labor reservoirs'. On 15 April 2024, on the mandate of the Milan public prosecutor Paolo Storari, the Milan Financial Police seized 64,7 million euros from the group for tax fraud.

The 'manpower reservoirs'

The scheme The crime of 'manpower pools' consists in employing workers 'supplied' by a company which in turn procures them from another entity, often a cooperative or consortium, in logistics and porterage ('goods movement').

The objective it is to maximize profits and save on the cost of workers, treated like machines. Underpaid, deprived of social security and welfare contributions, moved from one company to another, in the game of short company duration useful for slowing down controls and sowing tax evasion.

False documents for 362 million euros

The investigations they reveal 'a complex tax fraud resulting from its use by the final beneficiary', i.e. GS spa (Carrefour Italia group), 'of the illicit invoice mechanism for legally non-existent operations following the stipulation of fictitious procurement contracts for the supply of labour, in violation of sector regulations, which led to the issuing and consequent use of false documents for a total amount exceeding 362 million euros'.

Workers applied in the GS spa officesthey were "shielded" by "filter" companies which in turn made use of various cooperative companies ("tank" companies), which systematically failed to pay VAT, as well as social security and welfare costs for workers'.

The 13 labor suppliers identified

The mechanism it also involves huge damage to the treasury, so far quantified at 110 million euros.

The investigations - who continue - have already identified 13 suppliers who operate with GS spa through the sanctioned system of 'fictitious interposition of labour'.

Is that what everyone does?

The GS-Carrefour case it is a clone of numerous other investigations conducted by prosecutor Storari on the exploitation of workers and tax evasion in logistics, large-scale retail trade and private security.

Among the giants involved include Dhl, the Gls group, Spumador, Salumificio Beretta, Spraific, Movimoda, Uber, Lidl, Nolostand-Fiera Milano, Schenker, Aldieri, Cegalin-Hotelvolver group, Brt, Geodis, Ups, Chiapparoli, Securitalia and Esselunga. The latter quickly settled accounts with the tax authorities (paying almost 48 million euros) and hired 2.311 workers from the 'manpower reservoir' cooperatives.

GS-Carrefour like Esselunga?

The GS sign has now disappeared, acquired in 2000 by Carrefour. The French giant, which immediately offered its maximum availability in the investigations, could now take action to imitate Esselunga.

That means, settle the accounts with the tax authorities and hire the workers of the tanks used by GS spa to extend them the same good conditions granted to the collaborators of Carrefour, a benefit company, certified for the sixth time as a Top Employer and committed to ensuring that 'our company becomes an increasingly inclusive place that pays attention to the well-being and quality of life of our collaborators'.

Marta Strinati

Marta Strinati

Professional journalist since January 1995, he has worked for newspapers (Il Messaggero, Paese Sera, La Stampa) and periodicals (NumeroUno, Il Salvagente). She is the author of journalistic surveys on food, she has published the book "Reading labels to know what we eat".

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