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Archive for February 4th, 2009

Conspicuous Absence

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We have heard from a Labour peer, a company spokesman, workers in Grimsby, but we have yet to hear from the object of this dispute, the Italian and Portuguese workers.

It seems to me a bit strange in the age of globalisation and the Internet, satellite communication and modern telephony, where the media can organise an interview with a Taliban spokesman thousand of miles away or Laurent Nkunda in the Congo, but not the international workers staying around Grimsby?

We’ve heard so many things on these events, yet the voices of the Italian and Portuguese workers goes unheard.

What an omission?

Update: [Thanks to entdinglichung, this is a google translation of the CGIL statement]

“Rome, February 2 – “In Lincolnshire it is consuming one of the ugly pages of the history of the labor movement in times of globalization: the British workers against workers in Italy.” It is the responsibility of ‘Europe Office FIOM Cgil, Sabina Petrucci, Europe and the Secretariat Cgil, Nicola Nicolosi, to comment as the workers’ strikes against the British term contract given to the Sicilian Irem for the construction of a plant in a refinery in the north of England.

The economic crisis of these times – the two trade unionists say -, caused by capitalism voted to financial speculation, unregulated, and centered on the wealth of debts, is producing one of the most serious social ills: the poor against the poor, workers against workers . Intan, while the economic crisis has lead to the loss of thousands of jobs, and Nicolosi Petrucci “the solutions in Davos are exactly identical to those that have caused the crisis. Even in Europe, unemployment rises and the fear becomes a social phenomenon. Cases of racial intolerance consumed in Italy, made hateful, unacceptable to condemn and fight with all our energies. ”

But the two trade union leaders reach an invitation to grasp the malaise that the story behind the Lindsey Oil: “We have a duty – they say – to understand the discomfort of workers. In Europe there are more facts and consequent judgments involved in labor market, the right to mobility of goods and passengers by opening the way for social dumping. ” A mention about the recent rulings’ Viking Line ‘and’ Laval ‘of the European Court of “the rule of law with respect to the business trade union rights enshrined in national laws and contracts, have aroused concern in the union right, among the lawyers, including workers. In these cases, the wage dumping becomes an opportunity for companies to lower labor costs, resulting in unfair competition. ”

If the refinery Lindsay, in the county of Lincoln, and Nicolosi Petrucci added, “the protest is taking on characteristics that the right political and nationalist, is bending against the” foreigner. “ The British workers claim that the contracted work had to use local labor force already penalized by the loss of five hundred jobs in the month of December. If it is true that the contract includes a clause excluding the work of local authorities, we think the wrong source of discrimination. The company in this kind of issues has enormous responsibilities. We want also to remember that is where a company is not the union. That says a lot about the type of industrial relations. ”

But at the same time, the effects of the crisis of globalization must not loosen the bonds of international solidarity of workers, condemning all those facts which can lead to forms of xenophobic and racist, “argue the two trade union leaders and, therefore, consider that: “European standards should not be mechanisms of social dumping and wage, as has happened in the Viking and Laval cases, that the Directive ‘posting’ should be changed to those parties who, abused, can create conflicts between workers from different countries” . And also, “the growth of the CES” Equal work, equal pay “has the meaning not to accept working conditions and remuneration in that different country and for the same work. To develop the spirit of social solidarity we need, a value which bind aspirations and prospects for prosperity. ” Finally, and Petrucci Nicolosi concludes, “the economic and financial crisis not be fought within national borders, even if those workers are British responses even within national borders, a union must be developed and comprehensive support of unemployed and social and industrial policies and new leads. “

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04/02/2009 at 03:40

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