USB calls for a new public industrial policy
Two days of fighting in Taranto
28th November workers’ assembly
29th November general strike and demonstration
The steel multinational ArcelorMittal signed an agreement two years ago that maintained the employment level of the Taranto company (formerly Ilva – the largest steel production plant in Europe) and that would secure and reclaim the factory itself (10,000 workers) and the surrounding area, which has been devastated from an environmental point of view by years of exploitation.
A few weeks ago ArcelorMittal declared that was leaving Italy, failing to reach an agreement and leaving a situation even worse than the one the multinational had acquired. CGIL, CISL and UIL are dealing with thousands of layoffs and intervention with public money to save the multinational.
USB has proclaimed a general strike and launched an appeal for Italy to return to a true public industrial policy. The Taranto case demonstrates both the umpteenth failure of private individuals, their lack of interest in combining work, safety and health, and the lack of public tools to address an economic crisis, employment and the environment.
A country without authentically public structures, resources and skills ends up being blackmailed by those who have technologies, markets and financial resources. The solutions of parties, trade unions and employers’ organisations always follow the same cliché: downward compromise or state economic support in preparation for a new sale to the best buyer. And in both cases there is always a staff cut.
We are tired of witnessing hundreds of business crises with the closure of factories or the relocation of plants abroad, perhaps even in this case with public contributions.
In the world, the countries with the highest rates of economic growth are supported by a strong public industry and Italy is among the countries where the dismantling of state-owned companies and privatizations have gone further.
As workers and trade union delegates we want to escape the condemnation of blackmail: social security, early retirement, redundancies and plant downsizing. We want a project for the rebirth of the country where industry is not synonymous with damage to the environment and work regains full dignity.
We want to build a great movement of struggle in companies as in cities for the revival of a healthy industry, modern and able to create decent work.
USB asks for international solidarity, international solidarity messages are welcome so we can share them during our assembly in Taranto next 28 of November.
USB International Department