False Friends and Real Enemies

And what will they ask for next - blood?

Leaflet for the national demonstration in Rome 13 Feb 2009

National Wage Agreements - set at zero. Retire? Well perhaps to the seaside this summer but only on half board - best not overdo it! Security, permanent jobs and a wage rise to bring back our purchasing power? You’ll only see them in TV soaps! The list is endless. Driven on by the capitalist crisis, employers, and governments of all types, have for years attacked the world of wage labour. This crisis, which burst in the financial sphere, is very serious. It will not be short and we’ll be the ones to pay for it if we don’t react properly. Just to give one fact, layoffs in engineering have increased by 1000% and are still rising!

What is to be done? We think it is demoralising and confusing for workers to discuss whether the CIGS (layoff payments - CWO) - also paid out of our taxes - are worth 65% or 80% of the full wage. Either way it is a wage cut. This is accepting capitalist logic.

There is another way - Fight Back!

This means that, whilst we fight to defend our increasingly precarious living conditions, at the same time we must ask ourselves what wage labour means. It is human labour reduced to a commodity to be sold in the (global) market i.e. capitalism.

The struggle for survival which the crisis is forcing upon us must therefore become the spark for us to turn and fill the streets and squares. We must rebuild the essential bonds of class solidarity against all sectional divisions and racist poison.

Our enemies are the same as always: The bosses, as usual, demand we respect sound economics (our needs can obviously wait!) i.e. their profits, and the representatives of the State who, as at Pomigliano, watch over us and intervene when needed to ensure that everything remains the same, i.e. rubbish.

But who are the workers’ friends? Certainly not those who have signed every anti-working class agreement since 1993...

... whether on the centre left or the centre-right (but if you want to be picky the story begins a long time before this...). Even if the Berlusconi-Maroni-Brunetta-Sacconi Gang (= Confindustria) (1) are attacked and swept aside, waiting for us - it has already been signed - is a “painful but necessary agreement” with the Government, identical to the one already agreed between the openly servile unions (Cisl-Uil-Ugl) after they dissipated the anger of the class in a couple of huge national demonstrations spread out over three months..

Improving and protecting our living and working conditions can only come about through an uncompromising struggle against this system. It’s a struggle which inevitably demands forms (struggle committees and local mass meetings of the type used in the No Tav and No Dal Molin movements) (2) and any other methods which go beyond union practices such as those we have used up to now or have forgotten e.g. picketing, barricades, strikes which the bosses and their supporters call “wildcat” etc. Its no coincidence that under the recent legislative bill of the fascist government (see the Sacconi (3) proposal) any strike or struggle worthy of the name will be deemed a “wildcat”. Only in this way perhaps can we tear up the CIGS, halt layoffs and block these bills. Only by making the bosses and the State which openly supports their interests, fear us, can we put a brake on the attacks which their profits crisis is making worse.

We internationalists are, and will always be, at our posts in the struggle for a classless society where the aim of human activity is the satisfaction of needs and not profit.

The Internationalist Communist Party (Battaglia Comunista)
Italian Section of the International Bureau for the Revolutionary Party

(1) The Italian equivalent of the CBI, the bosses organisation. The “Gang” here are the Government.

(2) These were movements to stop a high speed rail link through Piedmont and against the NATO base in Northern Italy. We should make it clear we are talking here only of forms and not of the political motives of these movements.

(3) Minister of the Interior or Home Secretary, a member of the neo-fascist Alleanza Nazionale.