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(en) Timebomb Italy 1920 -Resistance AF (Ireland)

From Al S <klasbatalemo@yahoo.ie>
Date Sun, 20 Apr 2003 13:27:47 +0200 (CEST)


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Continuing our series on the history of workers'
councils -the Italian factory occupations 1920
> The factory occuations and nascent workers' councils
took root initially in the metal sectors of Italian
industry. Bureaucratic union hierarchies resulted in
the imposition of joint labour/management committees
by a committed corporate-based government only too
willing to exploit the weakness of unions and recoup
financial losses after the war.

The Federation of Metalurgical Workers (FIOM) accepted
employers' concessions on pay and hours in exchange
for greater control of the boss class over labour. As
a result, new shop organisations emerged independent
of the General Confederation of Labour (CGL). In
Turin, the councils were supported by the
anarcho-syndicalist Turin Libertarian Group since they
were

"...a movement that had adopted the same goal as the
anarcho-syndicalists, that is the self-management of
industry as part of an integral socialistaion of the
economy."

In April 1920, after the banning of in-plant
organisations' meeting during working hours, a general
strike was declared. The government responded by
locking out 80,000 workers. Instead of supporting the
strike, however, the CGL leadership and their
counterparts in the Socialist party (PSI) attempted to
jump on the bandwagon and set up their own
socialist-dominated councils. According to Antonio
Gramsci who went on to see his soul to Moscow...

"...They went on chattering about soviets and councils
while in Piedmont and Turin, half a million workers
starved to defend the councils that already exist."

Rising inflation throughout 1920 ensured that labour
ferment did not ebb. The FIOM demanded a 40% wage
increase, and decided on a go-slow tactic to impose
their will on employers. Workers in the councils
though had other ideas. They began factory occupations
all across the peninsular, and not just in the
industrial heartland of the northbut in southern
cities like Florence, Naples and Palermo. By
mid-September, 80,000 workers were participating in
mass country-wide occupations.

Unfortunately, and as usual, the incipient revolution
was checked by the petty machinations of socialist
'leaders' who held back from demanding complete
socialisation to a pathetic demand for 'union
control'. They led the CGL rank-and-file down the
garden path while the fascists watched on gleefully...
*****************
>From the pages of Resistance #22, regular monthly
bulletin of the Anarchist Federation.

http://af-ireland.cjb.net
contact@afireland.cjb.net




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