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ITALY: September 27 is a Black Day for the Right to Strike

In the early morning of Thursday September 27, USB private work received from the Minister of Infrastructure Salvini the order to reduce the local public transport strike, regularly called for September 29, to 4 hours throughout the national territory.

The reasons behind this decision, which should usually be reserved exclusively for serious and unpredictable events, are the “intermodality” of transport, cited for the first time by a representative of the institutions, and the concomitance with the “Ryder Cup” , a global event intended for the richest part of the population and which will revolutionize the roads and transport of the entire eastern Rome quadrant.

In the late evening of the same day we received, again signed by Matteo Salvini, the same order reducing to 4 hours relating to the national strike in the air transport handling sector, regularly called by several organizations and also based on completely specious and illegitimate.

A black day for the right to strike in our country, another black day for work in Italy.

For the umpteenth time, in fact, it must be remembered that Italy has the most restrictive anti-strike legislation in Europe. To carry out a 24-hour strike in the transport sector, a union must first carry out a mandatory procedure of at least two degrees: call a first strike of maximum 4 hours in the spaces left free between objective and subjective rarefactions and the numerous exemption periods. Then, only once the first fighting action has been carried out, he is free to call the 24-hour strike, but not before having found another free space. All this normally takes no less than 3 months. An enormous amount of time compared to the speed with which companies cut wages, rights and services for citizens, often taking advantage of the tied hands of the categories. For example:

These are some of the reasons why USB appealed to the European Committee for Social Rights based in Strasbourg, against this anti-strike legislation and against the resolutions taken over the years by the guarantee commission established by it. The appeal was admitted to hearing and is expected to be heard in the coming weeks. 

Therefore, in this context, the minister was and is perfectly aware that reducing the strike to 4 hours means canceling entire months of preparation; as well as questioning the legitimate expectations of entire categories who daily await contract renewals, fighting for better working conditions, combating violations, privatizations and dismissals. A barbaric way to make thousands of workers resign themselves to the inevitability of concertation and complicit trade unionism.

In addition to this aspect, the appeal to the concept of “intermodality”, as a reason for the precept of a strike in transport, is not only an unprecedented fact, which does not take into account that the prohibition of concomitance between similar transport sectors is already foreseen by law, but which reveals a new frontier of the limitation of the right to strike: a further crackdown that will extend to other sectors, perhaps those that manage the value chain of goods hitherto excluded from the bans.

Last but not least, preventing a driver from Bolzano or Naples from going on strike because the “Ryder Cup” takes place in Rome, and it is obvious that within a capital there are important events throughout the year, is something that would laugh if it wasn’t a constitutional right. The strike, in fact, is an essential right for the exercise of class conflict, which fell into the hands of a minister in full delirium and already in the election campaign.

These are the reasons why USB could not accept the dismantling of the national strikes in local public transport and air transport called for 29 September, perhaps limiting itself to a protest statement.

We have decided to reject this latest attack on the right to strike by immediately repositioning the strikes to the first available date: 9 October with the same duration of 24 hours and the same methods.

We expect that the workers of the LPT and the Handling sector will be able to understand that the full success of the strike, repositioned precisely to avoid compression and ensure maximum duration with the consequent blocking of activities, may represent the first real sign that the measure it is full.

Even users of essential services, who are themselves workers and citizens, must understand that behind the ongoing attack on this constitutional right since 1990 lies an attack on the heart of work, wages and services. which the popular classes have an enormous need of.

We have decided not to accept yet another stop from Salvini, we must react to regain our right to defend ourselves and we want to start doing so on October 9.

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