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ITALY: USB Railway Strike—For Our Fallen Brothers at Brandizzo; RFI Must Be Held Accountable

The strike proclaimed by USB for all workers in the railway sector, lasting 24 hours, urgently proclaimed a few hours after the accident in Brandizzo cost the lives of five workers in charge of the maintenance of the railway lines, ended.

The Guarantee Commission’s call to reduce strike action to just four hours and limited to RFI was rejected by USB and today we can say that the choice was correct because we receive reports of subscriptions from many railway workers who belong to professional profiles and tasks not necessarily attributable to the maintenance of the lines, nor employees of RFI but other companies of the FSI group.

We are also receiving reports of trains entrusted to paintings and personnel outside that of the crews for the performance of conduct or escort services that, if on the one towards lead us to think that the protest has been successful, on the other they will see us engaged to denounce all those behaviors, which we have always been distrusted, openly anti-union.

It is time for condolences to families, the affections and colleagues of the five workers killed in Brandizzo, but it is also the time of reaction and anger for unjust and unjustifiable deaths.

We reject the excuse of human error, what must be called into question is the organization of the work and safety of RFI. We are facing the product of privatizations and the procurement system that has fragmented and outsourced responsibility and activities, devastating the railway system, once public in every branch.

Strikes were not enough for defense and security in the workplace, dismissals of our delegates for reasons related to the complaints of breaches in the security system, dozens of days of suspension for delegates activists and RLS who asked for compliance with the contractual rules or the laws in force regarding accident prevention and compliance with safety standards. The images of Brandizzo are in front of everyone’s eyes: that foot spread to cover the human remains of a scenario that seems like war has left stone and horrified everyone has worked in the roles of the railway exercise.

Meetings with ministers or principals in front of the government buildings are no longer enough if it does not expand and organize the large mass of workers who today allow trains to move in Italy. Only a different condition capable of creating a critical mass throughout the railway sector will be able to offer an embankment to this drift.

More than 600 workers were killed in the workplace: while our 5 colleagues were killed in Brandizzo, two other workers died in Castel di Sangro and Senigallia.

The USB claims the 24-hour strike throughout the RFI sector and the abstentions of the work put in place by the organization in Piaggio, Sevel-Stellantis, in the ports of Livorno, Genoa and more generally in the working category from logistics to industry. The massacre of workers has a reason and is called exploitation.

No one can think of saving himself or escaping profit blackmail in exchange for security.

The workers responded: from today, and not only from today, no one can feel safe.

No one, from today but not only from today, will be able to think: it will not happen to me.

We organize the answer starting from the collection of signatures to support the law of popular initiative for the introduction of murder crime at work.

We organize the defense of our rights in the workplace starting from the one for a safe job.

Let’s do it for those who no longer have the opportunity to do so.

It will be important to keep high the mobilization, among our colleagues, in the trade union battle and in the collection of signatures for the law of popular initiative against the murder of work and the serious and very serious injuries, presented on May 19 last also by USB. Collection of signatures that will see its national departure on September 4.

USB Private Work Sector Transport-Railroads

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