Confederazione Cobas

Among brothel miasma exhaling from the palaces of power, today in the streets of tens of Italian cities, hundreds of thousand workers and students have brought a breath of fresh air, of rebellion and protest against the arrogance of the ruling class and the government.

In the framework of the general strike called by COBAS (with a relevant turnout in school -with an average of 25% in the main cities- but also in the health service, in the public service, Telecom and postal service, in addition to the success of the public transport strike, predated of 2 days- between 50% and 90% in the main cities-) and the one called by FIOM for metalworkers, COBAS and other rank and file unions (with 70-80% joining in the most relevant provinces) workers of the public and private sectors, with many secondary school and university students, have demonstrated today to tell the country and the rest of the world that Italy is not that horrifying and grotesque reality outlined by the ultra-corrupted contortions of a power with no control and institutional, political, moral and cultural restraints.

As COBAS, in particular, we have organized 16 demonstrations. In ROME, where we have had the largest one with 15000 workers, students and migrants in the streets of the city centre, TURIN, CAGLIARI, PALERMO, FLORENCE, NAPLES (Pomigliano), GENOA, TRIESTE, VENICE, LIVORNO, SALERNO, POTENZA (Melfi),TERNI, BARI, LANCIANO, SIRACUSE. In every demonstration and final speech the meaning of the strike was underlined: to defend workers attacked by the arrogance of a parasitical and reactionary ruling class, unable to innovate and plan, which is longing to turn waged workers into “neo-slaves” with third world countries salaries , and which would like to extend the Mirafiori shame agreement to the whole working world; to save schools and universities destroyed by heavy cuts in funding and work places; to oppose a spreading casualization at work and in life; to gain back incomes and proper pensions, jobs, social services, common goods, national contracts-unblocking the public sector one-,union rights, dispossessed by compromising trade unions and denied millions of workers, COBAS and rank and file unions.

There has been a strong request of strengthening and expanding that social front that today we have started to bring into play and which must knock over the politics of the ruling class and the government by having the crisis paid for by those who have caused it and have made a profit on it and not by the weaker and needy sectors of society, unmasking the fake “opposition” in parliament and “collaborationist” unions.

A ground swell of opposition has been shown by demonstrators against the refusal of Fiom to come to common initiatives with COBAS and rank and file unions in the various cities. From every place it has come the request of new occasions of joint fight, to come in fairly short time to a new date for a general strike with a wider protest front and with a stronger unity of action than today, bypassing veto and bans and taking cognizance of the fact that the silence of the Cgil general secretary, Camusso, to the request from Fiom to call for a general strike, yesterday in Bologna, is the final refusal from those who do not mean at all to really come to a conflict with the economic and political power.


Piero Bernocchi national spokesman of COBAS – Italy