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Italy: Solidarity with the Workers of Bormioli di Fidenza

On January 8, at the Bormioli1 establishment in Fidenza (near Parma), the riot police
attacked and dismantled the presidio2 set up by warehouse workers3 belonging to
the rank and file union S.I.Cobas4 and their supporters. They are fighting the
agreement signed between the company and the main unions, the CGIL and CISL
over the new contract between Bormioli and the cooperative5 (CAL) that it has set
up to run the logistics side of the company.
After the Christmas holidays the workers set up their presidio outside the gates of
Bormioli, because they rejected the new agreement, which was seen as worsening
their conditions with cuts in increments due for length of service and sickness
benefits. Moreover they fear that, in practice, it will lead to job cuts.
Once again, the logistics/warehouse workers, together with their supporters, are
one of the few sectors6 to show some sign of life as far as the class struggle goes.
Thats why they were attacked by the forces of bourgeois order, dragged to the
police station and charged. This is yet another confirmation that at this stage of the
deep crisis of capitalism, the bosses cannot tolerate any resistance from the class,
even when unfortunately, it comes only from numerically small sectors 7 and on the
basis of defensive trade union demands. They thus bring down all the might of the
state8 to crush the slightest sign of struggle that might hold up the process of
production and the normal extortion of surplus value, i.e. the exploitation of the
workforce. This exploitation has indeed intensified to cope with the increasingly
fierce competition between capitalists.
It is also one more confirmation that the incompatibility of interests between the
proletariat and the bourgeoisie is most dramatically revealed in times of crisis:
Either we put one over them or they put one over us. There is no room for
"agreements" where we can supposedly accept a so-called lesser evil that makes
working conditions and the life of the proletariat more bearable. These "small" acts
of repression a similar incident also happened in Desenzano del Garda 9 act as a
warning from the bosses against the feared revival of further episodes of class
To the workers in struggle, to their supporters, we send our class solidarity.
Il Partito Comunista Internazionalista (Battaglia Comunista)
9 January 2016

Originally (and still largely) a glass making firm it has now moved into supplying all kinds of household goods. Its main
source of finance seems to be British venture capitalist outfit.
A sort of sit-down protest located at the main gates of firms where workers can address those entering the establishment.
Facchini traditionally translates as porter in English but under modern conditions they include all the jobs as
pickers, packers, despatchers etc associated with the warehouse trade. See http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2014-0215/amazon-%E2%80%93-a-modern-capitalist-microcosm for more details.
The latest in a long line of rank and file unions in Italy who have broken with the traditional unions only to eventually
succumb to the same diseases of bureaucratism and acceptance of the norms of negotiating with the capitalist order.
S.I.COBAS (the full name is Sindacato Intercategoriale Comitati di Basi or Cross-category Rank and File Union) is though,
for the moment, still an anti-union union or what we might call a struggle organisation and is almost exclusively found
in the logistics sector where it has been involved in many strikes over the last few years.
This is another racket repeated by many firms all over Italy. A cooperative sounds almost socialist to English-speakers but
these are in fact set up to brutally exploit mainly migrant workers (over 10% of the Italian workforce is now made of
migrants and most are found in the logistics sector). These so-called cooperatives are run by mafiosi (in some cases in the
real sense of the word) who subject them to a rule of terror.
The struggles in this sector have been hard and the workers have carried them out with determination to the point of
getting violently attacked by the police on many occasions but whilst some migrant workers in other areas have shown
solidarity there have sadly and worryingly been no solidarity strikes or even well-attended demonstrations to show
solidarity from the rest of the Italian working class.
The workers are supported by their solidali (supporters) who are mainly young political militants of what is called the
movement in Italy (in the UK activists) of the radical reformist political left but even with their support demonstrations
rarely reaches a thousand in major cities like Bologna.
The workers are doing nothing illegal in picketing factories or going on strike but the bosses call the police who evict
them, arrest, hold them, fingerprint them and prosecute them all with the support of the local bigwigs like the Mayor of the
relevant council. It demonstrates that the right to strike is only a right on paper when it goes beyond a ritual.
Near Brescia in Northern Italy but in fact there have been many more attacks on the facchini across Italy in recent years.
These two have just come in the last few days. See http://www.infoaut.org/index.php/blog/precariato-sociale/item/16242penny-market-polizia-contro-il-picchetto-dei-facchini-in-lotta-5-fermati-e-3-feriti
Footnotes by CWO.