Migrants And Italians United In Struggle - Why Not a Strike?

As Titan workers we’ve always said that this proposed day of struggle is important. In our workplace there are lots of workers, both migrants and Italians, sympathetic to each other and aware of the fact that a migrant leaves his own country, not for a holiday but out of poverty and desperation, to find a job which all of us need in order to survive in the absurd capitalist system. Capitalism doesn’t care if someone’s face is white or black. Rather it looks into people’s eyes to see if there is hunger there … Enough hunger to be able to exploit and blackmail, to work as a submissive slave, so submissive that he is afraid ... Afraid to raise his head!

Many of us forget that in the past Italian workers were also forced to emigrate. For the same reasons as migrants today they went to America, Argentina, Germany and still workers of the South "migrate" to the north but, unlike yesterday, today, it is even worse.

Today were are not in the 60s and 70s when the economy was expanding or at least not in the middle of today’s condition of crisis. Back then there was more chance of wringing some "rights" from the bosses and small improvements in the terms of our exploitation. Today the world economy seems to be crumbling. It looks like there never will be a revival and workers, poor people, the proletariat of the whole world … are becoming more and more impoverished. Even in countries with a strong economy — such as France, Germany, Belgium and plenty of other north European countries — things have changed for the worse. It’s true that some nations are poorer than others but as we travel around, and we do that because we are forced to, we realise that even the countries with the strongest economies, where the welfare state still functions, are crumbling.

In previous years, we at Titan would have gone on strike for 8 hours on a day of action like this, along with the other factories (Bonfiglioli, Ducati etc..) which would have been on strike for at least a few hours. On our behalf, not only migrant workers went on strike but, as an act to show the boss how important the presence of migrant labour is for production, we all went on strike, and so we have shown greater strength. We are all exploited workers. We cannot have a migrant only strike, we must show that we are united, that the fight will always be a united one!

Today we are a bit disappointed because our day of strike action over the issue of migrant labour has been reduced to a Saturday afternoon demonstration. For us factory workers this is not a strike day and so “our” bosses and “our” institutions hardly feel the outcry against the Bossi-Fini law (1) and against racism.

It's time for the exploited around the world to begin to organise as a class against their single enemy: capitalism. Only when we are all united together will we be able to change the world. But unity alone is not enough. If we are really going to organise we need a revolutionary programme, a clear guideline to overthrow this system, every national boundary and every form of exploitation.

Given the evidence from parliamentary politics, talking about the necessity for a party seems like a nasty dirty word. However, the organisation we are referring to — and which we think is necessary — is not an institutional Party but rather an international revolutionary party, a political compass for workers, an essential tool to ensure that struggles go beyond the demands of day-to-day battles, which strives to bring workers towards a revolutionary programme, to communism.

Proletarians of the world, let’s unite!

Battaglia Comunista, leftcom.org

(1) Anti-immigration law introduced in 2002, making it increasingly harder for migrants to enter Italy, imposing harsher punishments for anyone without a resident permit, linking the ability to qualify for such a permit to an employer’s guarantee that someone is in permanent employment, etc etc. Named after its proponents, Gianfranco Fini of the Alleanza Nazionale, a neo-Fascist party, and Umberto Bossi of La Lega Nord, based on northern Italian prejudice against the south and central government ‘corruption’ (anti-Rome); both use anti-immigration rhetoric and xenophobia to win votes.

The accompanying photograph shows a picket line of the Si Cobas (rank and file) delivery workers. The paper the worker on the left is reading is Battaglia Comunista.

Friday, March 29, 2013