General Strike of grassroots union. The boss is the enemy!

general strike italy

Friday March 18, general strike. On March 18th thousands of people across the country participated in the strike called for by the various grassroots unions determined to once again make their voices heard.

The entire country was agitated by the workers’ outcry: in Bologna, workers protested by marching and occupying the logistics centers and the Holiday Inn; in Rome, pickets were hold to interfere with the activities of a number of businesses; shopfloor assemblies were organized in Genoa and in Brescia, while many cities held actions against the Turkish consulate in solidarity with the repressed Kurdish people.

In Naples, as ‘Popular Chamber of Labor’ (Camera Popolare del Lavoro), we have attempted to gather the voices that have populated the rally marching through downtown to the governor building while other protesters joined the Co.Na.Te.Co. workers on strike at the Harbor. We heard the stories of the workers of the schools dining halls in Benevento and the fierce struggles of the undocumented migrants and of the urban unemployed. We were told about the harsh situation of the FIAT workers in Cassino and about the inspiring experience of self-organization of the seasonal workers in the Amalfi Coast and in Sorrento, who all work under the table and with no protection. 

At the same time, two rallies in Milan merged into a big march where the workers of the logistics sector were joined by the postal service and the transportation workers, by teachers, by the workers of the call centers and many others.

The squares were filled by banners and sentiments transcending the particularities of each workplace for a renewed unity: the common denominator of the day was the strong opposition to the Renzi administration and to the dreaded involvement in the war against ISIS. In the aftermath of the enactment of the labor reform (Jobs Act) and of the school system reform (Buona Scuola) the landscape is one of cuts to the national health system, of increase in military spending, of extensive privatization of public assets and services and of a progressive elimination of the basic civil and working rights. Against this background, days like March 18th become fundamental in constructing resistance.

In order to carry on this domestic warfare against workers, students, and the unemployed, what could be better than external warfare? What could be better than a puppet enemy to silence those who are addressing their outcry to the real enemies, the enemies at home, the enemies in the palaces of Brussels? What could work better than the constant threat of warfare, than creating new internal enemies through hate propaganda against those who seek haven in our country by fleeing the same wars our government is taking part in? It is necessary, then, to oppose the administration’s attempt to create a rally around the flag effect aimed at deviating somewhere else our anger towards those who daily squeeze us in the workplace.

The only real enemy for workers, the unemployed, migrants, students, and all the people who joined the strike of March 18th are those who are dismantling the conquests of the workers piece by piece. This strike is an important step in opposing these forces. As the banner we carried at the rally in Naples goes: the boss is the enemy.

Rete Camere Popolari del Lavoro