Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

Make the Bosses Pay for the Crisis: Day of General Strike in Italy Mobilizes Workers and Students

This Friday, a sector of militant and rank-and-file trade unionism carried out a major day of general strike in Italy, with a huge impact on logistics and education. Thousands of students joined in, with demonstrations in various cities.

Giacomo Turci

February 2, 2021
Facebook Twitter Share
This Friday, a sector of militant and rank-and-file trade unionism carried out a major day of general strike in Italy, with a huge impact on logistics and education. Thousands of students joined in, with demonstrations in various cities.

Last Friday, a day-long general strike took place throughout Italy, called by the rank and file unions SI Cobas and Slai Cobas and by a sector of militant unionists gathered in the “militant workers’ assembly.” Students joined the workers’ mobilization from various cities, including Milan, Turin, Piacenza, Bologna, Rome, and Naples, with marches drawing hundreds of people.

The demands were meant to point an overall solution the current economic and pandemic crisis from a working class point of view, including:

The Strike and the Political Crisis

The strike was concentrated mainly in the logistics sector, where the SI Cobas union is concentrated with a large majority of immigrant workers, but also in some industrial branches, and among road maintenance workers as in the Campania region. In several territories, the strike saw a large participation of TNT-FedEx workers, threatened by a plan of 6,000 layoffs in Europe, and of those in the Italian postal transport company SDA, who have been on strike for three days against a plan of relocations and layoffs.

Students from dozens of schools in various cities joined this day of struggle with their own demands, marching together with workers with a total participation of several thousand young people, plus a smaller sector of striking teachers. The students demand to be able to return to school as soon as possible, but in safe conditions, which is impossible without increasing school funding, guaranteeing free Covid tests in schools, increasing the number of teachers and school personnel, whose number is insufficient, and stabilizing labor contracts.

This day of struggle took place during a phase of parliamentary political crisis: the small liberal party of the former secretary of the Democratic Party (PD), Matteo Renzi, has left the government, and is managing to create a new government with the same parties as before (PD and the right wing populist 5 Star Movement), but with a greater weight of its line, openly liberal and loyal to the Confindustria “cure” [the industrial employers’ union] for the pandemic crisis.

The success of Friday’s day of struggle shows that there is a great potential for mobilization of the workers and youth which has not yet been expressed, and which is blocked in the first place by the criminal policy of the bureaucracy of the big CGIL-CISL-UIL unions, which has no interest in mobilizing its workers and the rest of the working class in a united struggle to make the bosses pay for their crisis.

Instead, we affirm that what we need is precisely a common program of struggle and a unified mobilization, without being limited by different union affiliations, which can unite the forces of the central sectors of the working class with those of the working youth, the students, and the women’s movement. Not just to defend from massive layoffs, cuts in wages, and to promote safety conditions at work, but to impose decisive and effective measures against the tragedy of the coronavirus. These measures will start with the struggle to snatch from Big Pharma CEOs’ hands the control of the global process of vaccination of the population, and to impose our entire program of demands, so that this crisis is paid for by the bosses and not by the working class.

 First published in Spanish on January 30 on La Izquierda Diario.

Facebook Twitter Share

Giacomo Turci

Giacomo is a journalist from Rome and editor of our Italian sister site La Voce delle Lotte.


Two Turkish military members stand in front of a tank with the Turkish flag in the foreground and another tank with military members is visible in the background.

Turkey’s Dirty War Rages in Kurdistan

Since the beginning of the year, Turkey has been waging a dirty war against Kurdistan, terrorizing the civilian population with chemical weapons and drone strikes. What’s behind the action, and how is Germany aiding the onslaught?

Tom Krüger

August 14, 2022
Striking airline workers in uniforms and yellow vests at Munich’s airport on July 27.

Lufthansa Strike in Germany Brings Air Traffic to a Standstill

A one-day warning strike at German airports has demonstrated the power of the workers. Now it’s time to extend the struggle.

Marco Helmbrecht

July 28, 2022
Several Lufthansa airplanes on the tarmac in Munich, Germany in March 2020.

Lufthansa Workers Strike over Wages

Today, ground workers for the German airline Lufthansa are striking for wage increases and better working conditions. On Tuesday, a similar strike took place at the airport in Lyon, France.

The Mediterranean Sea Hits 86ºF — 10ºF Higher than Expected

Massive evaporation, torrential rains, prolonged extreme humid heat, and dying marine life — these are among the consequences of this summer’s heat wave as the waters of the Mediterranean Sea reach record levels.

Pedro Vantas

July 27, 2022


Veteran coal miner holding a sign that reads: on strike

Biden’s NLRB Forces Alabama Coal Miners to Pay $13 Million in Damages for Strike

The NLRB is imposing a $13 million fine on the UMWA coal miners’ union over a protracted strike in central Alabama. Not just a fine, in fact, but monetary restitution to the company that the strikers are fighting. What explains this profoundly anti-labor decision?

Daniel Werst

August 18, 2022
Protesters hold up a sign that reads Abortion is Healthcare

UPS Teamsters Take Up the Fight for Abortion Rights

The Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling is ushering in a historic attack on women, people who could give birth and broader working class. But Teamsters are speaking out for reproductive rights and demanding our union take up this vital issue.

Thaddeus Greene

August 17, 2022
A young couple with their baby in front of the Capitol

Refugees Are Being Stranded in NYC – Both Parties Are to Blame

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been sending buses of refugees to New York City. As the refugee crisis worsens, the Left in the United States needs a clear strategy for solidarity.

Sam Carliner

August 15, 2022
A black and white photograph of Paulo Freire.

A Critique of ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed’

Recently a debate has been taking place inside the recently formed Revolutionary Socialist Organizing Project (RSOP), which centers around revolutionary organization, what methods are needed to politically develop the revolutionary vanguard and the broader working-class and oppressed masses, and other issues.

Kendall Gregory

August 14, 2022