August 31, 2021
On 9 July 2021 the speculative British private equity firm Melrose notified through WhatsApp each of the 490 employees of its subsidiary engineering company GKN that they had been fired because the company was closing down. But workers have risen in rebellion.
The GKN factory in Florence has a long history: it has been in existence since 1939. Until 1994 it belonged to FIAT (the Italian car manufacturer). Since then, it has passed from owner to owner, remaining a company that produces components for automotive companies, mostly (80% – 90%) for FIAT; then for FCA which was formed in 2014 from the merger of FIAT and Chrysler (USA); nowadays, for Stellantis which was formed in 2021 from the merger of FCA and Peugeot (France).
The liquidation of the GKN factory is yet another step in the dismantling of productive industry in Italy that was commenced in the 90s by FIAT, and continued by FCA and now by Stellantis. In turn, the dismantling of the automotive sector is part and parcel of the dismantling of all productive industry that the imperialist bourgeoisie has been carrying out since 1990, in Italy as in other imperialist countries. Capitalists systematically shift the production of goods and services to countries where wages are lower, workers’ rights are less, and environmental control is minimal. In February 2021, the Italian ruling class installed the government of Mario Draghi (banker, former president of the European Central Bank) precisely so that he would more energetically pursue the liquidation of the gains that the proletariat and the popular masses had been able to wrest from the capitalists in the decades when the conscious and organised communist movement was strong in the world.
The GKN workers have stood up against the decision, approved by the Draghi government, of the Melrose speculative private equity fund. At GKN there has been in existence for many years a workers ‘ organisation, the GKN Factory Collective, which has led the rebellion against the Melrose decision.
The GKN workers have launched a national campaign to mobilise workers to put an end to the process of dismantling Italian productive industry. The campaign launched by the GKN Factory Collective has already mobilised the workers and popular masses from one end of the Italian peninsula to the other for various initiatives. The upcoming activities are: the demonstrations called for Friday September 3 in Naples, Saturday September 4 in Rome, Sunday September 5 in Turin, Monday September 6 in Milan and a national mobilisation on Saturday September 18. Other initiatives are underway throughout the months of September and October 2021. The objectives we communists seek are that this campaign should bring to an end the process of dismantling our industry and should force on government the policies of (1) reorganising productive industries for the benefit of the workers and popular masses, (2) defending health provision and the environment.
The success of the campaign promoted by the GKN Factory Collective, in addition to preserving the GKN company in Campi Bisenzio (Florence) and the interests of the Italian proletariat and popular masses, will be an example and an incentive for workers from other countries.
So, we ask each of the recipients of this appeal to send messages and video messages of solidarity to the Factory Collective and the GKN workers and to make known the activities they are undertaking.
Solidarity is a weapon: let’s use it
It’s not that the capitalists are strong: on the contrary, they are in crisis. The hasty and disorderly flight in recent days of the troops belonging to NATO and its partners, the defeat of the US, European and Zionist imperialist forces in Afghanistan, demonstrate it .
The future depends on the proletarians and the popular masses: it is up to them to exercise their strength by mobilising and organising. The task of the communists, progressives and sincere democrats is to favour and promote the mobilisation and organisation of the workers and the popular masses whose hearts and minds the bourgeoisie in a thousand ways with its system of preventive counterrevolution tries to poison so as to undermine the class struggle!
We ask each of the recipients of this appeal to send their message of solidarity to:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/coordinamentogknfirenze
Email : email@example.com – firstname.lastname@example.org
New Communist Party of Italy
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