de position -
During the national strike of the logistics workers, a truck driver leaving the Lidl warehouse in Biandrate with his truck, runs over the picket line, crushes three workers, kills one, Adil Belakhdim, and injures the other two.
In Biandrate, province of Novara, there is a warehouse of the supermarket chain Lidl. It is one of the many warehouses in front of which the logistics workers, who have been fighting for a long time against inhuman working conditions and dismissals, show their fighting spirit not only against a particularly cynical boss, who uses armed bodyguards to attack striking workers, but also against the complicit collaboration of the big trade union confederations CGIL, CISL, UIL, which have shown once again that they are on the side of the bosses and their profits against the proletarians who struggle and who, in order to struggle, organize outside them.
Adil Belkhdim, 37 years old, father of two children, Italian citizen of Moroccan origin, authentic fighter and activist in Novara of the "SiCobas" (one of the few grassroots unions that fights for the defense of the living and working conditions of logistics workers who are among the most exploited and oppressed because they are mostly immigrants and have always been "forgotten" by the confederal unions), was killed by a truck that crashed into the picket line that several dozen workers were holding in front of the gates of the Lidl warehouse in Biandrate.
This is not the "insane" act of a "crazy" truck driver; in its press release of June 18, the national SiCobas wrote: "the bosses wanted deaths and they succeeded! ". This is exactly what happened five years ago in Piacenza, in front of the doors of Gls, when a truck ran over and killed Abd Elsalam Ahmed Eldanf, 53, during a conflict between the UBS union and the company.
A few days before, on June 11, a gathering of about 40 Fedex workers in Piacenza (almost all members of SiCobas), in front of the Zampieri Holding in Tavazzano (in the province of Lodi) - which rents its warehouses to Fedex-Tnt - was attacked with sticks, fragments of pallets, stones and bottles by about 50 bodyguards hired by the bosses and supported by some strikebreakers. During the clashes, one worker, Abdelhamid, ended up in hospital with a smashed head, but fortunately without any danger of death. The police officers present at the time of the aggression did not move a finger to prevent it, but when they intervened, they arrested some handlers from Piacenza who received 15 expulsion notices. The aggression was transformed by the police prefecture into a simple "fight triggered by the discontent of the workers against the continuous strikes"; but the videos in possession of the SiCobas clearly show that the armed action was prepared by the "contractors" of the Zampieri Holding: The latter uses the private bodyguards of Skp Global Intelligence, a well-known Milanese security agency, infamous for its numerous interventions against striking warehouse workers, such as the one on May 26 at the Zampieri warehouse in San Giuliano Milanese.
In fact, the bosses of the big logistics and transport companies (from FedEx-Tnt to the Italian Post Office, from Gls to Dhl, from Amazon to Brt, from Sda to Ups and others) have long been engaged in a systematic confrontation against their workers who dare to rebel against intolerable working conditions. The violence used by the bosses against the workers is openly supported by the police forces who are regularly called upon to crush protests and strikes. The aim of the bosses - who find the state to defend them - is not only to crush strikes, but also to take back the concessions they have had to make during previous workers' struggles. The example of FedEx-Tnt is emblematic: its new industrial plan foresees 6,300 redundancies in Europe and, in Italy, it began with the dismissal of 300 workers from the Piacenza warehouse. Other workers from other warehouses had to choose between direct hiring at Fedex or subcontracting: this might seem like an easy "choice"; but in fact direct hiring at Fedex would be on the terms of the national contract signed by the main trade union confederations, which is "much less remunerative than the company contract wrested by strikes and pickets" (cf il fatto quotidiano, 19/6/2021). And at the end of this restructuring process, the daily continues, "the multinational will have more direct employees, but it will have got rid of the subcontracts for which it was still jointly responsible: it will not only be able to keep some satellite companies, but also to start using temporary workers and so on, to get rid of the most unionized workers, to cancel the contractual gains of the previous decade. The agreement that allows it to do this was signed by Filt Cgil, which obviously defends it ». It is easy to understand why the interests of the employers coincide with those of the CGIL: the employers win in every respect, bending the workers to their needs, and the CGIL marginalizes the grassroots unions, which have gained members and credibility over the last decade.
At stake are the huge profits these companies have pocketed in recent years, and especially in the last year and a half of the Covid-19 pandemic, where the traffic of goods and deliveries (the famous B2C, "business to consumer) has increased enormously. To mention only home deliveries, Amazon has grown, for example, in the market of "deferred" deliveries (deliveries within 3 to 5 days) from 17% in 2016 to 59% in 2019, while Gls has captured 40% of the "express" delivery market.
While the bosses of the multinational logistics and freight companies are exploiting and blackmailing the workers of the sector more and more, what is the CGIL-CISL-UIL confederal "triplice" doing?
For more than a decade, these workers have been abandoned in the hands of the bosses and their executioners; but they have organized themselves in grassroots unions, they have fought and continue to fight with their bare hands, knowing full well that against them act not only the bosses with their blackmails and abuses, but also the policemen, the contractors, the strike-breakers, the scabs.
The much vaunted union rights in this wonderful Italian democracy? For these workers, they do not exist, especially when they rebel and fight against inhuman working and living conditions. But, in the face of episodes of armed aggression openly in gangs against peaceful workers in struggle, the CGIL-CISL-UIL intones the usual refrain: "Stop this Wild West climate!", cried Maurizio Landini, secretary of the CGIL; a climate that the CGIL and the other big unions have contributed to create by reinforcing with their collaborationism the arrogance of the bosses. Landini solemnly declared: "The death of a trade unionist, crushed during a trade union rally, is a very serious and unacceptable fact, on which it is necessary to quickly shed light" (il manifesto, 19/6/2021); if it had not been a "trade unionist" but a simple worker, who had died, would it have been more acceptable?
It is a fact that the CGIL-CISL-UIL trade union triplice has not moved a finger to prevent situations of this kind and has never shown solidarity with the movements of struggle throughout the country. The strike that these Confederations have proclaimed after Adil's death is nothing but a smoke screen, especially since even Prime Minister Draghi - a well-known representative of international finance - has taken up Landini's words: "the incident must be investigated immediately". Who copied the other?
What have logistics workers done in ten years of struggle?
If wages and working conditions have improved at all, it is not due to the good heart of the multinational logistics and freight companies, nor to the activity of the trade union triplice - which signs contracts for nothing! - but thanks to the hard strike actions and pickets that the workers have set up and that the trade union confederations, together with the bosses, intend to crush.
The near future, and not only the distant future, of the workers will be the result of their direct
struggles, with the means of the class struggle that allow to respond in an organized and sustainable way in solidarity with all those who are, as is the norm, hit locally. Grassroots unionism, such as SiCobas, is undoubtedly a first response to the cowardly collaborationism of the big union organizations; and the logistics and freight workers demonstrate, with their struggles and with their dead, that the way to defend their rights is not that of "civil confrontation" between "social partners", but the way of power struggle : that of the unlimited strike, without notice, of the opening of negotiations when the strike is still in progress, and involving not only the workers of the same economic sector but extending the strike actions to other sectors, because the capitalists exploit bestially and strike in the same way in all sectors!
Unwavering solidarity with the struggle of warehouse, logistics and freight workers, immigrants and natives, regularizing all the so-called "illegal" workers who are the most exploited of all, as has been amply demonstrated in the countryside. ! If in the farms there are the "corporals", in the warehouses there are the "contractors": they have basically the same task, to bend the salaried workforce to the will of the bosses, with "brutal" manners whenever "good manners" (that is, in reality, blackmail) do not succeed.
In the near future, the use of bodyguards, security guards, contractors, not only in logistics but in all sectors, will become more and more widespread. The proletarians must not be caught unprepared; they must organize themselves in trade unions, of course, to defend their interests and their lives: but they must also look further ahead, towards the perspective of the resumption of the class struggle which is being waged against all collaborationist forms and practices!
International Communist Party
June, 20th 2021
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