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(en) Italy, FDCA - Il Cantiere #10: CGIL XIX ° National Congress Does work create the future? - It depends on how and who defends it by Cristiano Valente (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Sat, 17 Sep 2022 07:10:56 +0300

The Congress of Bad Godesberg, misquoted by the leader of Action, Calenda, following the electoral agreement that the PD of Letta concluded with the party of Fratoianni SI, was, in 1959, that congress in which the Social Democratic party, Spd , from the then German Federal Germany, radically and officially changed his theoretical and political setting. In fact, the radical approach deriving from his previous Heidelberg program, adopted in 1925, which made the SPD the self-declared representative of the working class and the working masses, was definitively scrapped, turning the party into a large Labor force, open to the market and to the representation not only of the workers' electorate, but of different classes and classes, even opposed to the working masses and above all by binding themselves to the dynamics of the economic system of the free market, abandoning the convictions and impulses, still present in vast strata of workers and the less well-off classes , of the need to overcome the capitalist economic system.
There can therefore have been no Bad Godesberg for a party, such as the PD, which since its inception has intended to combine references and strategies of that world of social Catholicism, present for many years, albeit a minority, within the former Christian Democrats and previous derivatives of that world linked to the former PCI, coming, in turn, from further hybridizations and genetic mutations, made in years far back, which we can trace back to the Salerno turnaround of the PCI of Togliatti, in 1944, to get to the Eurocommunism of Berlinguerian memory, of the early 1970s of the last century.
Therefore, no break with alleged communist or radicalizing drifts, much less with instincts and strategies that are minimally re-centric to Marxism, but complete adherence to a liberal progressive framework of which the season of former secretary Veltroni, first secretary of the party, represents well.
But this is not the interest of these notes, which instead want to take into consideration an important and fundamental political event, such as the next congress of the CGIL, the largest Italian and European trade union, which should have seen its beginning precisely in these days when we write.
Following the crisis of the Draghi government and the subsequent elections scheduled for 25 September, the XIX Congress of the CGIL was moved to October, with its final meeting scheduled for March next year.
A first consideration. This choice very much confirms the subordination of the management group to political alchemy and the total absence of political autonomy, despite the fact that this is constantly referred to in official documents, in the statements of the various leaders in the street rallies.
This political crisis could and should have represented a greedy and further opportunity for the project and the indications of the union, discussed by millions of workers in the assemblies, in the workplaces and in the categories, simultaneously with the electoral campaign, to become the social agenda on which to eventually measure and condition political forces. But so be it.
This subordination, moreover, can be seen in the whole document "Work creates the future" presented by the national secretariat for discussion, in which, right from the start, it is explicitly stated that the declared objective is to aim through bargaining at "spaces of codetermination" recognizing "equal dignity" between values and "interests represented by work and the company". (1)
But not only. The document indicates as a strategic choice "an idea of the company as a system in which all subjects can be active protagonists. In which the model of single and exclusive command is overcome where the union is admitted only a priori subordinate and collaborative and assumes regardless of the objectives of the company ". (2) Thus we arrive at a priori refusal of the need for a conflictual union, of conflict as such, by erasing with a stroke of the pen the struggle between classes and the relative power relations between them, limiting ourselves to recognizing (their goodness) that "the company is a complex social system in which different points of view, different subjectivities coexist" and that the negotiation, even if necessary, must be addressed and auspicious to "open a space for negotiation that makes it possible to define a point of equilibrium (3)
A position therefore entirely internal to the mercantile and liberal system, self assuming a position of equidistance between capital and labor.

This is why concertation and not class conflict, that is, the relationship with the government, even if formally denied, thus becomes the ultimate goal, if not the only reference of a "participatory trade union" which is alluded to as opposed to a " conflictual union "(4)
The reasons and interests of part of the world of work are inevitably and constantly sacrificed by this approach, which, by denying the factual reality and that is the greater power of companies, precisely through occupational blackmail, denies the very historical function of the union as an organization. of resistance and continuous and progressive improvement of the entire working class.
From these premises "for a new protagonism of male and female workers, the need for" new forms of economic democracy "derives from the already fallacious trade union elaboration of the 1970s.
This was one of the many proposals elaborated in those years of power relations clearly favorable to our class, born in particular in national negotiations within public production structures, in those years still very present, from steel to shipbuilding, passing from energy electricity and hydrocarbons, up to transport, not yet affected by the privatist fury of the late 1990s by the center-left governments, from the Prodi government to the D'Alema government and with the convinced consent of the trade union structures themselves, CGIL in the lead.
As a corollary to this approach, the indication of any participation in the management of the companies is introduced in the following pages, referring to article 46 of the constitution. (5)
If we need to talk about Bad Goesberg, in the sense of genetic mutation, perhaps the actual and true one lies precisely in these indications and elaborations that the CGIL management team is indicating.
In fact, it is a question of co-management, the possibility and necessity of representing workers on boards of directors or in equal bodies, such as supervisory committees or others.
A real tear in the history and over a hundred years of practice of the class struggle and trade union organizations in Italy.
Such a choice, if convinced and set by the management team, would need to be discussed extensively and in the light of the sun and not introduced with fleeting references and occasional insertions.
In fact, it is not the first time that a topic of this kind has been explained and argued by the National Secretary himself.
There is a first trace on the "Pact of the Factory", the agreement reached by the trade unions on bargaining with Confindustria on 28 February 2018.
This agreement which, although it came when the CGIL was preparing for its XVIIIth Congress, did not see the participation of the workers, nor that of the intermediate and peripheral structures of the organization, signed by the confederal management group in the most absolute and sought-after isolation.
This agreement introduces the concept of participation by promoting "a more flexible industrial relations system that encourages, above all, through the extension of second-level bargaining, those processes of cultural change capable of increasing the forms and tools of participation in companies. organizational. " But above all with a lexical similarity to the current congressional document presented for the XIX Congress, it is stated that "Confindustria and CGIL, CISL, UIL also consider an opportunity to enhance forms of participation in the processes of defining the strategic directions of enterprise "and endorsing the idea that worker and boss have a common interest in the company, it continues by affirming:" Economic changes require involvement and participation and determine a different relationship between company and workers and workers. (6)
Subsequently, the same issue was taken up by the National Secretary in his report at the conclusion of the Organizational Assembly held in Rimini in February of this year. In the article reported by the trade union site "Collective" we can read: "people have the right to be involved in the choices that companies make, before decisions are made that in some cases concern organizational models and the role of work if we think in that direction. 'it is also a theme of new rights of codetermination, rights that do not exist in our country today ".

These are Landini's quoted and therefore textual statements to which the writer of the article cannot refrain from stating that "codetermination is a strong and very innovative word for the culture of the CGIL" (7)
In fact, such a convinced approach presupposes the non-recognition of class conflict as the engine of history and above all the liberation from exploitation.
of the working masses as a chimera, condemning the movement of workers to an inevitable and constant subjection to capital.
Nothing very new in the theoretical, political and historical landscape in the history of the international labor movement.
And nothing new in the history of social democracy and of the communist parties themselves, bearers of what they have always been
we indicate it as the reformist utopia, at least for those who pursue this approach in good faith. In any case it would be necessary, in order not to continue in the misunderstandings, on the part of the trade union leadership, to fully explain these arguments starting from the congressional discussion, which will begin in October.
If the firm and therefore the capital is not seen as an adverse party in the interests to be pursued, but it is considered an active and preponderant part of a free market, abstractly neutral and irremovable, in the absence of the firm there is no work and therefore the interests of the latter inevitably become a priority, to be safeguarded with respect to any competitors, perhaps foreigners, with respect to the interests of male and female workers, who thus become dependent variables.
And this is how from a structure that defends the economic and social conditions of all workers, the union ends up by taking charge of the competitiveness of the national economy as a whole, or by marrying entrepreneurial groups from time to time, it becomes the bearer of particular, communal interests, regional, party, or "who can have more".
Here lies the strategic and I would say theoretical weakness of the majority document, where an attempt is made to develop a reasoning on the need to combine central government policies with regional, municipal and territorial policies, particularly in our south, with a real one " supercazzola ":" It is necessary to coordinate the policies governed by central administrations with those of specific competence of the territorial institutions: especially in the South, the transformation and innovation of production systems in a sustainable key will have to start from the guidelines of intelligent specialization supported by cohesion policies, structurally based on bottom-up approaches, that is, that enhance the territorial and supply chain vocations "(8), but above all, moving forward in the reasoning where, with an exchange of perspective with respect to the primary interests that it would be necessary to defend, namely employment and salary, is indicated as the objective of the union, the need to "attack dwarfism, undercapitalization, the scarce propensity to invest in innovation, sustainability and quality of the vast fabric of small and very small businesses that characterize our country, much more than in the rest of Europe." (9)
Basically, the national interest is assumed for a greater competitiveness of our bourgeoisie vis-à-vis the other European and world bourgeoisies, among other things in open contradiction to the initial indications of the document on the need for a "multilateralism" understood as the presence of more supranational and continental economic actors (USA, China, Russia) and the European unitary project.
A project that should include a common economic and financial structure with a single foreign policy and consequently a common military defense force still in progress.
It is no coincidence that one of the themes of this electoral campaign is precisely the possible international policy of the future government between an alleged adhesion to the unitary project, albeit unbalanced on the terrain of adhering to Atlanticism and therefore with American traction, or in defense of the presumed national priority interests. .
In addition to being a utopia, a real mess, were it not tragic for the fate of our class, of the international working classes and for the future of the new generations.
From this tangle of contradictions inevitably derive other and much more significant repercussions, in that part that should be concrete and immediate what to do.

Such as the need to defend wage levels by recovering real inflation levels, which, although indicated, is not in the least explicit and organized through a generalized national battle on wages and above all by not canceling and overcoming the agreement on the Factory of 2018 and for contractual wage increases. refers to the HICP, i.e. the harmonized index of consumer prices net of imported energy products, today following the war in Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on the Russian federation which have increased beyond measure, bringing real inflation beyond 8%. As well as with respect to the right to health and public health, increasingly necessary and to be strengthened also due to the world pandemic and the new and inevitable pandemics that technicians and scientists increasingly diagnose, "as a guarantee of universal law to health "and it is not stated with the same clarity that it is necessary to close with the policies of support and dissemination of corporate welfare which undermines and drains capital for public health as well as disrupting the current essential levels of assistance. already undermined by the diversity of regional health systems with the different services and conditions provided for in the different job categories.
As with the pension, which from the Fornero reform sees claiming the goal of 41 years of contributions, with a strike organized badly and in haste on last December 16 and without any continuity, despite the government attitude of total denial, without in the least saying that if even if this conclusion is reached, with the contribution system, now widespread and generalized, future pensions will be no more than 60% of the last contribution.
There is no mention of a self-criticism on pension funds, the so-called complementary leg, on the contrary, in the last point of the platform, the need is indicated to "relaunch adhesions to the negotiated complementary pension, making it effectively accessible even to those who work in small businesses and young people through the launch of a new semester of silent consent and informed adhesion, the tax reduction on returns and greater support for investments in the real economy of the country by the negotiated pension funds "
(10) which means snatching the severance pay, which is to all intents and purposes wages, albeit deferred, from young male and female workers.
In fact, what happened in 2007 when the current legislation came into force would repeat itself: all those whose severance indemnity was set aside in the company had six months to decide whether to confirm this option or direct what accrued from that moment on to the supplementary pension.
In the absence of an explicit choice, the severance indemnity would be automatically channeled towards the category fund with a capacity for revaluation that is no longer automatic but linked exclusively to the financial market, moreover using one's salary to support financial funds, the same ones that perhaps delocalize in Serbia, Poland or Turkey the productive activities.
Finally, the imperative need for a generalized battle on the reduction of hours is almost totally absent, which could represent a real alternative to the reduction of the workforce following the introduction of new technologies and new production models.
The short paragraph in which the need to reduce working hours is stated generically speaks of "redistribution of working time", linking this objective to "coherent and consequent company bargaining" (11) which means giving up a national and generalized battle for the reduction of hours.
Information technology, digitalization, as well as the processes now partly started in the automotive sector, from the narrow production of motor vehicles to components, as well as the collection and processing of huge information, the so-called "big data" have made superfluous not only the greater part of the manual labor, but also a great part of the clerical work and in general of the intellectual work.
A strong and consistent reduction in generalized working hours is therefore the only way to work everyone and work less, just as there is now an imperative need to reduce the extensive precariousness of employment contracts that characterizes and penalizes in particular young people, women, the growing foreign workforce, increasingly over-exploited in the agriculture and logistics sectors.
In short, a clear and strong desire for discontinuity with the practices and arguments of the current CGIL management group would be needed which identifies some unifying themes, in order to be able to win over some fundamental objectives of the material conditions of the working masses so that confidence in the struggle and in class solidarity.


(1) Work creates the future A new trade union model for unity
(2) Idem
(3) Idem
(4) Idem
(5) Work creates the future - The new social contract: democracy, freedom, participation. paragraph 4)
(6) see Trade Union Defense n.45 April 2018
(7) Colletiva.it 12/02/2022 Landini "Democracy and participation: work starts from here" by Davide Orecchio
(8) Work creates the future - New model of sustainable development and public policies for full employment
(9) Idem
(10) Work creates the future-New welfare state for cohesion, inclusion and full employment and public citizenship networks.
Paragraph 3
(11) Work creates the future -Enough precariousness and reduce working hours
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