April 15th, 2005: 4-hours general strike of the metalworkers

 

Metalworkers are at present confronted with a number of difficulties and industry recessions, involving a major part of the metal-sector. Every day business closures or activity reductions involving the use of redundancy funds, mobility allowances and collective dismissals, are announced.

Entire industrial sectors are put at risk, particularly the automotive one, with direct and indirect consequences on employment, thus weakening the productive capacity of our economy.

We are paying the consequences of wrong choices made by employers in the first place, but also of the lack of adequate industrial policies over the last ten years, further worsened by the directions of the present government:

  • little and often inadequate investments;
  • uncritical continuation of a development model based on small enterprises, being inadequate in the context of major changes on an international level;
  • weakness with few exceptions - of the small and medium sized enterprises under financial, world trade, research and innovation aspects;
  • choices of large Italian businesses to avoid competition, by buying service and networking companies and selling manufacturing activities;
  • privatization policies, not dealing with the medium and long perspectives of the purchasers, which often led to transfer of technological, productive and professional skills to foreign multinational companies;
  • little attention paid by local and national institutions to policies supporting industry with concrete measures concerning infrastructure, professional training, research and development.

For these reasons, a relevant part of the metal-sector is put under pressure by the competition of emerging countries and consequently - in the absence of elements allowing the growth of industries in other developed countries - policies of low wages, precariousness and worsening of working conditions are pursued.

A turning point, redefining the role and the functions of public intervention is necessary.

We therefore ask the government and the industrial associations to open a discussion on the situation of the metal-sector, on general issues such as development quality and on specific issues, starting from the more difficult situations, being at the same time those of main strategic importance: first of all automotive industry, iron and steel industry and telecommunications.

The unacceptable rationale implying closure of Italian productive sites and delocalization have to be opposed also by legislative measures, making such financial actions less favourable.

It is further necessary to:

  • extend the coverage of social security cushions to all businesses and to all workers (thereby overcoming the limits of the Bossi-Fini law), supporting them with adequate measures for professional training;
  • reduce and overcome precarious work relations by means of contractually defined measures.

For this reason, against business closures and dismissals, for a new industrial policy, Fim, Fiom, Uilm call for a 4-hours general strike of the whole sector on April 15th 2005, in ways to be defined on a local level.

 

Rome, March 21st, 2005