Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Italy: A strike against austerity!

The (former Communist) CGIL union federation called a strike on Friday, June 25, in view of the announcement of the plan for spending cuts by Berlusconi’s government, [which was] sent to Congress, a plan that, among other things, consists of a cut of 24 billion euros between 2011 and 2013, with a big reduction in […]

Left Voice

July 3, 2010
Facebook Twitter Share

The (former Communist) CGIL union federation called a strike on Friday, June 25, in view of the announcement of the plan for spending cuts by Berlusconi’s government, [which was] sent to Congress, a plan that, among other things, consists of a cut of 24 billion euros between 2011 and 2013, with a big reduction in public spending and pensions, with a freeze in the wages of state workers for three years and an increase in the age of retirement to 65 years by 2016.

The CGIL strike had big demonstrations from one end of Italy to the other, in the main cities of the country: in Rome, around 40,000 people attended the demonstration; in Milan, 70,000, with the same number in Naples, and some 25,000 in Palermo, to name a few cities. The main demonstration took place in the city of Bologna, with around 100,000 demonstrators.

Public-sector workers were on strike for eight hours, and in the private sector the strike lasted four hours, and it affected mainly transport, with lots of flights canceled.

We should emphasize the demonstration in Naples, which was attended by workers from the Fiat plant at Pomigliaro d´Arco, where a referendum organized by the bosses was carried out, one which lacked the support of the FIOM metalworkers’ union, together with SlaiCobas (a rank and file union), that denounced the referendum as illegal and in violation of Italian labor law.

In reality, the referendum is true blackmail, where, in exchange for bigger investments and no loss of jobs, the firm is proposing reductions in the rights and gains of the workers. This despicable act by Fiat takes place amidst the crisis that is covering Italy and the European continent.

While the outcome of the referendum was 60% in favor of the employers’ proposal, this was not the result Fiat was hoping for: according to the FIOM union, 40% of the workers voted against, since, in spite of the campaign for a “Yes” to the agreement, which was backed by the press and had the support of other unions, the pact lacks the needed “consensus” to put the plan into practice.

With these conditions, one could state that a big group of workers are not willing to hand back their gains.

This is the real face of the bosses’ policy, which is also expressed in the austerity plan described above, so that the workers and the people pay for the crisis by losing their rights, wages and gains. Both the strike and the resistance by the Fiat workers in Naples, show that there exists a willingness to confront the austerity plans they want to impose, but at the same time it shows the impotent politics of the CGIL leadership, whose policy is that austerity should be more equitable, when, in reality, what the Italian workers’ movement has posed is a plan of struggle, to be able to put the movement on a par with the circumstances and confront these austerity plans all the way, by demanding, first of all, that the capitalists pay for the crisis.

Facebook Twitter Share

Left Voice

Militant journalism, revolutionary politics.

Archive

The Unknown Paths of the Late Marx

An interview with Marcello Musto about the last decade of Marx's life.

Marcello Musto

February 27, 2022

The Critical Left in Cuba

Frank García Hernández discusses the political and economic situation in Cuba and the path out of the current crisis.

Frank García Hernández

February 27, 2022

Nancy Fraser and Counterhegemony

A presentation from the Fourth International Marxist Feminist Conference.

Josefina L. Martínez

February 27, 2022

Who is Anasse Kazib?

Meet the Trotskyist railway worker running for president of France.

Left Voice

February 27, 2022

MOST RECENT

Black UAW workers, a black-and-white image, holding signs that say "UAW ON STRIKE."

To Achieve Black Liberation, Class Independence Is Key

A united, working-class party fighting oppression is our only hope for Black liberation.

Tristan Taylor

February 29, 2024
A banner reads "Real Wages Or We Strike" at a rally for CUNY, which is experiencing cuts from Mayor Eric Adams and Governor Kathy Hochul.

CUNY Faculty and Staff Have Gone One Year Without a Contract — It’s Time to Strike

CUNY workers have been without a new contract for a full year and the university has yet to make any economic offers. It's time to take action.

Olivia Wood

February 29, 2024
Aaron Bushnell, who self-immolated in protest of the genocide in Palestine.

Aaron Bushnell’s Cry of Despair in the Face of Genocide

The media and international community was profoundly affected by the self-immolation of U.S. soldier Aaron Bushnell in protest against the genocide in Gaza. His death and desperate act of protest starkly shows the cruelty and brutality of U.S. Imperialism and Zionism.

Enzo Tresso

February 28, 2024
Florida governor Ron DeSantis stands at a podium that reds "Higher Education Reform"

U.S. Higher Education Is Being Gutted, but We Can Fight Back

Across the United States, higher education is being gutted through program eliminations and budget cuts. We must prepare to fight these attacks with everything we have.

Olivia Wood

February 28, 2024