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MEPs of the KKE

Question on the unacceptable persecution of trade unionists in Italy

The MEPs of the KKEsubmitted a Question to the European Commission denouncing the persecution of trade unionists of USB and SI Cobas in Italy, who are demanding an improvement in their working conditions.

On the morning of 18 July 2022, on the order of the Piacenza prosecutor’s office and through house raids, the Italian police detained 4 elected trade unionists of USB and SI Cobas in the supply chain sectorand placed another 8 ones under house arrest and other preventive measures.

Furthermore, the prosecution has drawn up a 350-page indictment against the 8trade unionists and also against dozens of other workers and trade unionists, describing picketing, strikes, the protection of strikes, general assemblies, protests, “criminal activities”!

The Italian authorities, under the responsibility of the government, are provocatively proclaimingthe labour struggles and trade union demonstrations that took place in logistics warehouses from 2014 to 2021 against precarious work, the intensification of exploitation, and poor wages in business groups such as GLS, Amazon, FedEx - TNT, IKEA, Leroy Merlin to be “conspiracy to commit private violence, resistance to a public official, sabotage, and disruption of public service”. At the same time, strike-breaking, pressure, and blackmail by the employers escalated with the murders of workers Abd El Salaam in 2016 at GLS in Piacenza and AdilBelakhdim in 2021 at Lidl in Biandrate, which remain unsolved. Moreover, 3 months ago a provocation was revealed by USB trade unionists, which was staged at its headquarters.

The above events unfold in the context of EU best practices, which falsely seek to portray the EU as a “defender of rights”, while in reality, they have created an anti-labour framework implemented by all bourgeois governments, with an extension of the daily working time up to 13 hours, the abolition of the Sunday holiday, and the crushing of social security rights. The result of this strategy is the generalization of flexible work arrangements and the fact that over 50% of workers in the EU are not covered by a collective labouragreement. In the same reactive framework, harsh repressive measures are included, which are also reflected in the official figures, according to which trade unionism is already banned in 10 EU member states and in more than 15 member states, including Greece, measures are in place to ban or blatantly violate the right to strike.

In view of the above, Lefteris Nikolaou-Alavanos, MEP of the KKE, submitted the following question to the European Commission:

“What is the Commission’s position:

- On the demand for the workers’immediate acquittal from all accusations, as well as the release of the 8 trade unionists under house arrest?                                         

- On the fact that the Italian authorities have criminalized trade union activity, which is an inalienable right of workers, the struggles of workers to improve their working conditions, and the right of workers to decide, based on their internal trade union procedures, the organization of actions (general assemblies, protests, pickets, strikes) to inform and coordinate the struggle of workers to improve their working conditions?”.