Campi Bisenzio (Florence), 24 July 2021 – Early in the morning a crowd of demonstrators gathered in front of the Gkn from Campi Bisenzio on the day of the national demonstration ‘Insorgiamo con i workers Gkn’, a protest born by the workers of the plant in Viale Fratelli Cervi di Campi Bisenzio which since last July 9 are in permanent garrison because the property – the English fund Melrose – decided to close the factory and send everyone home (422 employees which become about 500 if we take into account the workers of internal contractors). But today is a symbolic event for the entire automotive sector, which risks a real employment tsunami, and for the whole world of work, which looks with extreme concern at the end of the redundancy block. And over the hours the group has become a sea of thousands of people, at least 5 thousand by eye, until, around 10.30, the procession started moving (VIDEO), shortly before 12.30 the return in front of the factory.
Flags, banners, smoke bombs (above all), choirs: all according to protocol. And people responded to the call from all over Italy: from Tuscany (there is a banner from Pisa airport, that of workers Piaggio e Sammontana and of Texprint di Prato), there are three workers of the Electrolux of Forlì, a young worker of the Pirelli came from Milano, coaches are awaited by Melfi e Pomigliano d’Arco. Also present were some politicians: the mayor of Fields, Emiliano Ditches, the deputy mayor of Sixth Fiorentino, Damiano Efforts, the senator Alessia Petraglia. And obviously the Fiom national secretary, Francesca Re David. But what is most striking is the response of ordinary people, such as mothers with strollers. In the procession also the leader of the “Sardines”, Mattia Santori, who participates in the initiative in a personal capacity.
“I wanted to take to the streets alongside the workers because with me today all of Tuscany ideally took to the streets”, said the president of the Region Eugenio Giani, who marched at the demonstration this morning to protest against “an arrogant and unacceptable attitude”. Giani then added that “fundamental rights, like work, cannot be touched. But above all not in such a way. 422 workers fired with an email, and with them their respective families. In addition to those of other related workers who have lost their jobs. And above all not for production problems, but financial ones. Tuscany is taking action to force the property to sit down at a table. I repeat, such an attitude, which is offensive to the dignity of these people, cannot be admitted and we will do everything possible to avert this dramatic situation ”.
Also present was a delegation of workers from Whirlpool from Naples, for a long time on the barricades. “We are here primarily as citizens – they explained – and also as workers, even those of small companies that have no voice”.
“In the streets for all workers at risk of dismissal” thunders Dario Salvetti, Rsu delegate of Gkn. And he adds: “From the government so far only promises, we will see the concrete acts: we will not be prepared for a slow agony”.
The demonstration was organized for subsequent static safeguards. The meeting is at 9.30 in front of the factory, then along viale Fratelli Cervi (towards Prato) up to via di Pantano, near Lake Paradiso, for the first garrison with lots of speeches (on each occasion only Gkn workers and other companies will speak).
So the Mezzana-Perfect Ricasoli (with temporary interruption of traffic), another stop and another meeting, then via San Quirico and final stop in front of the factory for the final interventions.
Present the Civil Protection of Campi Bisenzio (Mercy, Public Assistance, Popular Brotherhood and Vab) with four workstations to distribute water given the very hot day. Also place two ambulances near the factory.
There is also a gazebo of the Coordination of the Florentine Misericordie to illustrate the initiative to help Gkn workers in the purchase of textbooks and school supplies for their children.
From 9 to 14 Viale Fratelli Cervi off-limits to traffic and the Municipality of Prato has also provided for an ordinance that provides for the closure of the Ponte Lama (at the same times). Finally, a large deployment of the police is expected, starting with the municipal police of Campi who will be ‘helped’ by colleagues from Calenzano, Signa, Scandicci, Florence and Prato.
Various certificates of solidarity at the national level: among these Zerocalcare he made a cartoon for the redundant workers.
Here Prato – Also present at the parade was the president of the Province of Prato and mayor of Poggio a Caiano, Francesco Puggelli: “I joined the GKN workers on strike because theirs is a fair protest. There were many families and many also took their children to the national march this morning: I believe that the image of a mother protesting with her son tells the meaning of this protest better than words. It is unacceptable to think those who fired did so in full legality. If the law allows and supports a system where 440 employees can be at home overnight, that law is wrong and must be changed. The Government, in my opinion also Europe, must take charge of the future of these people because their future is closely linked to that of the country. National resources are needed to accompany workers, but a relocation plan is also needed. The latter is certainly the greatest challenge, but the strength of a government also lies in the ability to guarantee solidity and stability to its socio-economic fabric, the closure of the GKN has opened a rift that the institutions have the duty to mend, both at the regulatory and occupational. As I said, it is definitely a challenge and it is a challenge that is played on a national but no longer local level. I will continue to be the spokesperson for the message of this community, I will do it as long as there is a need, alongside and together with the mayor of Campi Bisenzio, Emiliano Fossi. Because the cry of the GKN workers cannot fall on deaf ears ”.
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