[Pga_europe_process] annex for the factory/labour day: some reflection texts 2)

kolektiv eimigracija migrativeart at skynet.be
Wed Jun 16 10:37:49 CEST 2004

also we would like to invite  some fiat workers who could exchange
experience with collapsed car-industry workers from zastava-kragujevac ( who
had a fiat  licence once)  in a  region known  nowadays in serbia  as  a ³
hunger field² ( central serbia).
ps. all those who knows some other workers, illegal workers or  active
immigrants or people working with them, don¹t hesitate to contact us...

by Rossana Rossanda
il Manifesto 
May 02, 2004 


Wretched and reactionary as always - what else can be said of the owners of
Fiat, or of the banks that dog its heels, in the labour dispute of Melfi(1)?
It's a key plant, essential to the "just-in-time" system that abolishes
stores and stock; it's the second factory in terms of productivity in the
whole of Europe, but Fiat insists on keeping the fifty thousand employed at
salary levels 15 to 25 per cent lower than its other factories, with a
faster pace and with work-weeks of six days.
And when, after years and years of a strangling contract signed as
Fiat-Sata, the workers of Melfi ask for a contractual level similar to the
others, it doesn't even respond. And when, exasperated, they organise a
protest, they hurl the police at them with their helmets and batons.
This happened the other morning. We're in 2004, we fill our mouths with
words such as globalisation and competitivity but the heirs of the
Advocate(2) direct the labour like a miserly farmer of a hundred years ago.
They think that you can do what you like to the people of Basilicata(3),
it's a poor region of the south, they have hired workers over a very vast
territory so that they will be distant two-hour's drive, and with their own
means of transport, and on rickety roads where accidents are the norm, in
order to keep them divided outside as within the huge spaces of the plant.
Doesn't matter if they are dead tired, that punishments rain down in the
thousands (nine thousand in five years), that many leave because they can't
bear it any longer, something that doesn't happen in this scale in any other
place, but better dissipate the know-how counting on the unemployed of the
surrounding areas rather than pay the workers a normal wage for normal
working hours. That's the way our manager class, that used to boast about
having made of Italy the fifth industrial power of the world, thinks. It's a
management not just arrogant but also stupid. It mustn't have paid even a
sociologist sufficiently intelligent to point out that in the south it is an
error to believe that the lack of a long tradition of struggle means eternal
Fiat has tested the patience too long and now finds itself facing a protest
that has suddenly caught flames over elementary necessities that decency
should have averted. Its the RSU(4), the organism of the factory, that set
out blocking the accesses to one plant in which internal communication is
difficult. The direction has believed it can ignore it by make an agreement
with the pliable Fim-Cisl and Uil(5) and by terrorising the workers of
Mirafiori(6), suspended between one integration fund(7) and the other, until
some of them wrote to Melfi imploring them to stop it because: our work is
in your hands. As if both weren't in the hands of the Turin(8) family.
The printed and the spoken press has not lost the opportunity to rush to
condemn the lack of global conscience of the workers and to exhort the
freedom of blackleggery. All wrong. Melfi has held, ten thousand persons
encircled the complex the day before yesterday, and Fiat just like, I
suppose, the Prefect of Potenza(9) have lost their heads by sending the
police to break up the garrisons.
Rash move. Tomorrow metal workers all over Italy will go on strike and we'll
see who is the winner. And how long will the government be able to feign to
not get involved. And how long will the opposition hesitate to enter the
field on a question of equitable salaries and such elementary norms. We
aren't yet the pale imitation of the United States of the right-wing

(1) Melfi is a small town in the south of Italy, where Fiat has set up a car
assembly line (torna al testo)
(2) Agnelli, the owner of Fiat, is an advocate by title (torna al testo)
(3) Basilicata is the name of the region of which Melfi is a town (torna al
(4) United Labour Union Rappresentation; it is the factory's labour union
with representatives from the various national labour unions (torna al
(5) The three major metal worker unions in Italy are under CGIL, CISL and
UIL (torna al testo)
(6) Mirafiori is the principal factory of Fiat (torna al testo)
(7) Government funds to assist industries in trouble in paying the workers'
salaries (torna al testo)
(8) The Agnelli family is from the city of Turin (torna al testo)
(9) Potenza is the capital city of the region Basilicata (torna al testo)


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