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(en) Italy, 27 January 2012: General Strike and national demonstration in Rome

Date Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:28:24 +0200


USB - Orsa - SlaiCobas - Unicobas - Snater - SiCobas - USI Piazza della Repubblica, 9.30 am ---- On 27 January, we'll all be taking to the streets and demonstrating that workers, pensioners, precarious workers, the unemployed, migrants and students - united and determined - are able to demand and point the way towards a strong, concrete change in the management and government of the Country in social terms and in terms of more rights and more democracy. ---- 27 January 2012 ---- The first stage of Monti's government programme is now complete, with the approval of a wide majority in parliament, who are in favour of shifting the costs of the crisis onto those who always end up paying, a crisis that has produced and continues to produce profit for the bosses, the banks, the speculators and international finance.

This first Budget, which fully complies with the directives from the ECB and the European Union, is now to be rapidly followed by the second phase, centred on the labour market and on new measures concerning flexibility. Basically it will involve changing Article 18 [of the Workers' Statute] and increase the freedom to fire, demanded by Confindustria with the approval not only of the right (more or less moderate), but also of certain sectors of the centre-left which are by no means marginal.

It's time to say NO and rebel

They've reduced your buying power and the real worth of your pensions and wages... you who have never evaded a penny's worth of tax, while they do nothing to recover the €120 billion every year in evaded tax.

They tax you on your home, after forcing you to buy one because you were evicted from your council house and because there aren't enough available homes to rent, while they refuse to bring in a property tax for the 10% of wealthy people who hold 50% of the wealth in the country.

They've raised VAT, local income taxes, healthcare costs and petrol tax, while inflation is already at 3.5% and eats away at your pay packet, while your pension, your job contract and your wages are frozen, while workers are made redundant, reduced to short-term contracts, on short time, etc.

They've increased retirement age forcing you to work more at a time when you're at your most tired and you thought you were almost there, leaving your children and grandchildren to their fate... unemployment and casual work.

The new Government will do nothing to change the reforms of the school and university system introduced by the previous government, with Monti even going so far as to praise the previous Education Minister. He'll be leaving the plan for school mergers and closures and the plan to reduce high school by one year.

They're making a fool of you by telling you you're privileged because you still have a monthly wage and a few rights left at work, because they can't fire you without good reason and they promise that your children will surely be able to find work if you allow your boss to fire you more easily.

They tell you that businesses need to be helped at a time of crisis like this, while they raise your taxes and reduce those for companies; in this way, having de-industrialized entire regions, extended the Pomigliano agreement to the entire FIAT group and related metalworking companies, torn up the national collective agreement and put his authoritarian stamp on labour relations, Marchionne is able to move more money and more factories abroad.

They tell you that the CGIL, CISL and UIL are opposing the policies of Monti's government, so that you'll forget that these unions signed an agreement with Confindustria on 28 June last year which "authorized" the Berlusconi government to approve the infamous Art. 8 which destroys the workers' rights and the collective bargaining system.

They've asked you to strike for only a few hours, to obtain marginal modifications to the government's measures and without any real, all-encompassing alternative, because the objective of the CGIL is to return to the days of social partnership and the objective of the CISL and the UIL is "collaboration".

They want to convince you that this is a technical government, a serious government, which was formed in order to "save Italy", while the measures adopted so far by Monti are simply a continuation of those of the Berlusconi government and will lead us into the same condition as Greece. It represents the interests of the banks, international finance, the ECB, the IMF, all those who over recent years have got rich and speculated on your back, on your life.

They want you to believe that golbalization and the "god of the market" are only a little ill, but that with a little sacrifice - on your part - everything will go back to the way it was before. They hide from you the fact that for decades these "ideological monsters" have been destroying lives and entire peoples in other continents and today they are attacking the heart of Old Europe for the simple reason that here it is still possible to make profits by raising the rate of exploitation of labour, by reducing our rights and our democracy.
If this is all clear and if you agree with it, you can't stand by and do nothing or "just hope you'll be alright", not like the the person next to you at work, or your father or mother who can't enjoy a few well-deserved years rest after working for decades, or your son or daughter who can't find a job and when they do find one it's a short-term contract and they end up more exploited than you.
We need to lift up our heads and shout our dissent, show them day after day our desire for change, our desire to not just say yes all the time. We need to oppose them and all try together to build an alternative at work and throughout this society.

On 27 January we are striking against all this.

Against the Monti government which represents the interests of the ECB and large finance We don't want to pay off a debt that we didn't contribute to making. It is essential that we build a strong social and labour movement, starting from our workplaces and pouring out onto the streets and into the squares of the whole country: we're tired of having to put up with this and we're going to take back what they've been taking from us for decades.
On 27 January, we'll all be taking to the streets and demonstrating that workers, pensioners, precarious workers, the unemployed, migrants and students - united and determined - are able to demand and point the way towards a strong, concrete change in the management and government of the Country in social terms and in terms of more rights and more democracy.


USB - Orsa - SlaiCobas - Cib Unicobas - Snater - SiCobas - USI

Translation by FdCA - International Relations Office
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