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#Italy, Unione Sindacale di Base: General strike to close down non-essential activities was a great success. Solidary Health care with symbolic stoppage

Italy. March25, 2020. In the middle of the day we recorded an extraordinary participation in the general strike called for by Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) to demand the closure of all non-essential production facilities and thus prevent the spread of the contagion with the coronavirus among workers who are forced not only to move on crowded public transport – in blatant contradiction with government decrees – but also to work under conditions that are totally insecure.

Originally published by Unione Sindacale di Base (USB). Translated by Enough 14.

From north to south, from Trieste to Taranto, empty logistics warehouses and factories with stops involving up to 70% of the workers, despite the fact that anti-union behaviour such as that of ArcelorMittal, which boycotts todays struggle with the use of expanded orders. USB will denounce ArcelorMittal asking for one million euros in damages, to be donated to workers families.

Also exceptional was the participation in the symbolic one-minute strike in essential services. Entire fire brigade squads joined in, as did nurses, doctors, health workers and auxiliary personnel from the national hospital network.

It is precisely the health care staff, often precarious, to confirm the very strong support of those who can not strike but still want to be virtually present during the day of struggle, also to commemorate Daniela, the intensive care nurse who committed suicide at San Gerardo in Monza, and all the other victims among health workers killed by Covid-19. This can be seen in the many moving videos and photos that were published here.

This 25th of March is a decidedly exciting panorama despite the threatening notes of the strike regulating authority, the pathetic comments of Codacons [1] and the thick carpet of silence by the media. Traffic policemen, researchers and administrative staff of the Higher Institute of Health, nurses of Inail [2], staff of social security agencies, ministries, local governments, tax authorities have crossed their arms, even from home by interrupting smart working, while in schools throughout Italy, the refusal of ATA staff to go to schools was added to the suspension of distance learning, which is not the same as teaching.

All this happened while the secretaries of Cgil Cisl and Uil [3], which now have a stable kennel in the palace, were patching up an undrinkable decree to try to contain the obvious rage that had emerged overwhelmingly in their own ranks.

Today’s extraordinary mobilization is not thanks to the complicit trade unions but to the great and unprecedented mass movement which, despite impossible conditions, has been able to make its voice heard and forces its bosses, the government and their allied trade unionists to march ever more backwards every day. The slogan was and remains Health First! Shut it all down!

Unione Sindacale di Base, March 25, 2020

Notes

[1] Codacons, Coordinamento Delle Associazioni per la Difesa dell’Ambiente e dei Diritti Degli Utenti E Dei  Consumatori. In English: Coordination of associations for environmental protection and user and consumer rights. https://codacons.it/

[2] Istituto Nazionale per l’Assicurazione contro gli Infortuni sul Lavoro or INAIL (‘National Institute for Insurance against Accidents at Work’) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Istituto_nazionale_per_l%27assicurazione_contro_gli_infortuni_sul_lavoro

[3] Cgil Cisl and Uil are Italian reformist trade unions.


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