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(en) Italy, FdCA Labour Commissione statement: FIAT, Telecom... the strategy of the vampire [it]

Date Sun, 18 Jul 2010 13:12:47 +0300

Vampires. Real ones. The sort whose thirst for profit, rich earnings and public finance is insatiable. The sort who throw the workers out onto the streets like used rags once they have squeezed all the blood, sweat and tears out of them. Sergio Marchionne, CEO of FIAT, gets by on an annual salary of â5m. Franco BernabÃ, CEO of Telecom Italia, struggles on a mere â4. The former, having closed down FIAT's Termini Imerese plant, has inaugurated a blitzkrieg strategy at the Pomigliano plant: workers can say goodbye to all those regulations and rights they won over decades of labour and social struggles, and any worker who refuses to accept it can go (as happened recently at the Melfi plant, where 4 protesting workers were fired, sparking off a series of strikes all over Italy). The latter has thrown 3,700 workers out of Telecom.

In both cases, these champions of the "nicer" bourgeoisie, so dear to Italy's centre-left parties, are forcing the workers to bear the costs of the restructuring and financial deals that the crisis has provoked. And yet, right in the middle of a crisis, these companies and continuing to make enormous profits and dividends for their shareholders (in the case of Telecom, almost â2bn in 2009) thanks to the support of banks and governments. This is the strategy of the vampire. This is the giant step of the bosses' offensive: use the crisis as a weapon of social blackmail and use the Berlusconi executive as a tool of political destruction in order to remove legislation on labour rights, just as in the past other governments and indeed the entire State were used.

And send the bill to those who earn little more than â1,000 a month and super-exploited casual workers who revel in monthly wages of â700.

This offensive demands an equally radical response. Faced with blackmail and redundancies there is nothing to negotiate: we need to fight for the Telecom redundancies to be reversed, for the Pomigliano agreement to be torn up. The path of negotiation starting from the bosses' programme has led millions of workers down a blind alley. It is time for the workers to show their strength and take the battle to a new level of intensity, faced as we are with a boss class that has no qualms about ridiculing the Telecom workers by announcing the redundancies on the same day as the workers in the company were on strike. The only language the bosses understand is that of conflict, even more so in times of crisis.

The INNSE struggle first [1], then Alcoa, both go to show that only organized full-frontal conflict can lead to results: the only thing that pays off is a struggle that refuses to bide by the formal rules of a fixed game, that challenges the "law" of property, that does not back down in the face of State threats and intimidation.

If the sort of agreement made at Pomigliano should spread to other companies and areas, there will need to an equally widespread response of the sort seen at FIAT, as an indicator for the hundreds of labour disputes currently taking place, to combat redundancies with the ri-appropriation and self-management of labour in those companies who are firing. The courage shown by the 40% of Pomigliano workers who voted NO reveals not the dissent within the unions but also a potential for social rebellion that continues thanks to the current strikes in FIAT's various plants.

And we must support this and enable it to find an outlet, with widespread labour mobilizations - from below, rebuilding the workers' capacity for struggle and demands from the grassroots.

For participation in the struggles, for direct democracy!

For jobs, for wages, for union rights and freedom!

Labour Commission
Federazione dei Comunisti Anarchici - FdCA

16 July 2010



1. A good summary of the INNSE struggle can be found here: http://socialistworld.net/doc/3676
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