Italy: Class Solidarity with the FedEx and Texprint Workers

The capitalist attacks continue. We present here two translations from our comrades in Italy about the recent events. They are self-explanatory. For reference to our previous articles on the struggles of workers in the logistics sector in Italy see: Italy: The Capitalist Attacks Are Already Beginning, Demonstration and Strike of Peroni Workers at Tor Sapienza (Rome), Two Comments on Recent Events around SiCobas in Italy.

Class Solidarity with the Piacenza Warehouse Workers Attacked by Thugs and the Police Near Lodi (Italy)

Here we go again.

On Thursday 10 June, in the early hours of the morning, the SiCobas picket of warehouse workers in front of the Zampieri-FedEx warehouse in Tavazzano (Lodi), was attacked by a squad of thugs – so-called private security guards – in the pay of the company, and scabs, under the noses of the police, who did not lift a finger to stop their assault, as can be seen from a video shot by the union and also circulated on the TV station, Rai3. One of the workers in the struggle ended up in hospital with a broken skull, but he was not the only one injured among his comrades. They had come from Piacenza, where FedEx (multinational logistics company) closed its site, firing all workers, as part of a general restructuring of its European plants, with the notorious aim of cutting "labour costs". It began by closing sites where the working class has proved particularly combative. In recent years workers' “rank and file” unions (SiCobas, ADL Cobas etc.) have obtained better working conditions than those "granted" by the employers in agreements signed with the traditional Italian unions who are always ready to sign ever worse contracts.

Once again, therefore, the working class in logistics, one of the very few segments of the class, if not practically the only one, to have been doggedly struggling for ten years or more, is under the bosses’ attack. As always, they don’t hesitate to use every tool at their disposal to "put in its place" a particularly combative sector of the wage labouring class. From the Nazi-fascist thugs, spewing from the slums of humanity, to the "extra-legal" bourgeoisie (the presence of the mafias in the underworld of fake cooperatives is well-known), to, needless to say, the police who are doing everything they can to crush any workers' resistance to the bosses’ plans, and to issue a warning to the proletariat in general.

In many cases, the warehouse workers have managed to contain or even get rid of the "extraordinary" levels of exploitation existing in logistics, but now, the mounting incidents of aggression towards pickets are a clear signal that the trade union struggle, however well-supported and active, has reached, or is reaching, the point, that the ruling class considers intolerable. Indeed, the agreements signed by the union confederations can only mark a retreat from the "peaks" previously reached in some warehouses. Even here, "radical" trade unionism shows itself for what it is: a dead end at the best of times (so to speak) which essentially disarms the class politically, and prevents it from making the qualitative leap towards the revolutionary perspective of going beyond capitalism. Instead it limits the struggle to economic demands, which presuppose and, in the final analysis, accept the exploitative capital-wage labour relationship. Moreover, by accepting this premise, they do not recognise what is ABC for communists, namely that the state, in all its forms, is not a body standing above classes, but an exclusive weapon of the capitalist class, which defends its present and future interests against its historical enemy: the working class. It was therefore no surprise to see that after SiCobas had praised the Piacenza’s Prefecture of Police in February 2021, that they were attacked and charged by the police while defending the workplace a few weeks later. Hence, the meeting with the third highest officer in the state (10 May), the Parliamentary Speaker, Roberto Fico, to whom they complained of the “lack of respect for Italian institutions shown by the tearing up of the agreement signed in the Piacenza Prefecture on 8 February”, as if, in fact, the “Italian institutions” were not part of the state. They thus fell into the cliché of the “good cop” (those institutions “who listen” to workers) “bad cop” (the one who actually beats and fires the tear gas, but which in the last resort, is the true face of the bourgeois state) game.

Let’s Get Political

We should expect no better from a trade union, which however much it claims to be “a class union”, is still looking for recognition from its counterparty (i.e. the state). It’s different for those who claim to be the communist political vanguard, who instead fail to understand what, on the basis of this self-proclamation, their role should be. Who are we talking about?

So, let's name names: Stalinists-Maoists, Trotskyists, Bordigists, leftist activists and radical-reformists in all possible and imaginable combinations and nuances (and we don't care who we’ve left out). Those who underneath everything, silently, aim to “democratise”, propose crazy programmes and carry out underhand manoeuvres (perhaps just to nip in the bud attempts among the most conscious elements in the workplace to come together and explore alternatives). It is those who strive to bring everything back to the sacred dictates and inviolable precepts of the Transitional Programme, who take advantage of every turn of events to parrot the invariant dictates of the Grand Unnamed Master ... those who for 50 years have been proposing that everyone should work less, with an income and basic rights, without understanding a thing about the capitalist period we are living in.

Then there is a working class which, though isolated, fights and suffers violent and dramatic attacks like this one. But then they are hardly equipped to respond because the aforementioned parasites delude themselves that they are the strength of the working class, when they are in fact its weakness. What is the strength of the class then? Its organisation: but only on condition that it is revolutionary and anti-capitalist. Not just in words, with some slogan launched into the void and immediately forgotten, but in the practical articulation of ways forward, organisational construction, class consciousness. But in the fragmented environment of the more or less revolutionary left, (more less than more ...), we are light years away from this. Even those who try to reach out in a more serious way (individual comrades, some discussion circles) end up drowning in that toxic environment, where the prevailing concern is that some other organisation will steal a militant from you and where we must not say what the class does not understand. Our class is drowning in these miseries but being shipwrecked is not in the least pleasant.

The breath of fresh air can come from the tremors produced by the class, which will revive the general struggle, otherwise this buzzing of flies will be the only thing we will continue to hear, while we helplessly witness, increasingly INCAPABLE politically, the sad defeat of this glorious, but isolated, sector of the working class.

Our maximum solidarity goes to the warehouse workers and their injured comrades. The struggle shows that the only long-term perspective worth fighting for is the proletarian revolution, although hardly anyone on the aforementioned left puts this forward as an indispensable pivot of EVERY political discourse.

Partito Comunista Internazionalista – Battaglia Comunista, 12 June 2021

Prato (Italy): More Violence Against Texprint Workers!

We offer our class solidarity to the Texprint workers who yesterday, 16 June, suffered a violent attack by squads, hired by their Italian-Chinese bosses who, in addition to destroying the picket, beat up the workers in struggle.

This latest episode adds to the list of attacks that Texprint workers, who have been fighting for 5 months now, are undergoing both from the employers' side and from the state.

All this is happening not far from the site of similar aggression against the FedEx workers of Piacenza.

We, comrades of Battaglia Comunista, are and will always be, alongside workers in struggle but we do not refrain from saying that it is time to go beyond union and state boundaries (which are exhausting and fruitless for the workers), because our class enemy, the bourgeoisie, in the current crisis, cannot tolerate any economic demands, however minimal and actually enshrined in the bourgeoisie’s own legislation (such as an 8 hour working day, 5 day working week).

We reaffirm our class solidarity with the Texprint workers and, at the same time, we support the struggle of the workers of Topline, another company in the Prato textile district, also exploited and forced to work 14 hours a day.

We have to demand and fight for decent working conditions, but it is still true that there is only one way the working class can get out of the noose of exploitation and wage slavery: a communist revolution to overthrow capitalism!

Partito Comunista Internazionalista – Battaglia Comunista, 17 June 2021

Thursday, June 17, 2021


Just as an update on the day we posted this there was yet another attack on workers in struggle demonstrating outside the main Lidl distribution site for Northern Italy. A lorry drove down on them and killed a 37 year old SiCobas organiser as well as injuring two others. The lorry's number plate was caught on camera and the driver was arrested by the carabinieri on the motorway (even they could not ignore the enormity of this event). The CGil (one of the big three union federations in Italy and the most numerous) has called for a general strike in the sector (always in a sector) - it would be a first if there was a serious response. The 5 Star minister called for "a change of tone" (the usual platitudes). More on