Italy: workers take action against job losses

Submitted by AWL on 10 September, 2012 - 5:40

Clashes have taken place between workers of the Alcoa aluminum plant and police in Rome. At big demonstration arrived at the offices of the Minister of Development and its still going on (10 September).

Workers are demanding assurances potential job losses under a putative Brazilian company which is said to be about to take over from the current American owners. The government and bosses have in the past stalled with fake offers other chemical and textile industries in Sardegna, until protests have been exhausted and the workers completely sold out and defeated.

At the moment the workers are very likely to up the action, abolishing overtime and going ahead with a 24 hour strike. A more widespread revolt and the seizure of the plant is possible.

Europe's metalworkers take on Fiat

On 7 September hundreds of metalworkers from France, Germany, Poland Spain, the Czech republic, Austria and Italy marched to the headquarters of the multinational Fiat in Turin in protest against plans to restructure its European plants, closing five with a loss of over a 1000 jobs.

They carried a coffin containing a skull with the words "171 sacrificed on the altar of profit", referring to the latest exercise of Fiat at its plant in Savoy, later burning the coffin in a symbolic gesture of their anger and determination to resist Fiat plans.
The representatives of the Federation of European Metalworkers (FEM) revealed that although the union had demanded details of Fiat's plan nothing had been forthcoming; no acknowledgment the right of the workers to a formal negotiating meetings. This is one more example of the Fiat boss Marchionne's scorched- earth drive to pulverise the workers movement in his industrial empire.

Franco Battison, the French representative spelt out his unions demands.

Restructuring must mean no loss of jobs.
For an opening of a dialogue to know the motives and means of this plan.
For a Europe-wide council of the major industries, with workers and their unions an integral part of such to fight to defend their interests, in line with prospective European legislation.

"Today is a symbolic expression of collective European workers action. It is only the beginning and the workers here today are preparing to go much further if necessary, as are the others in the plants affected." Heartening words, and much needed in a country flayed to the skin by the austerity inflicted by the Monti government and bereft, so far, of a united working class led fightback to turn the tide of one demoralising retreat after another.

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