Italian trade union calls for general strike to halt non-essential production amid COVID-19 crisis

The Unione Sindacale Di Base has accused the government of prime minister Giuseppe Conte of not taking enough action to halt non-essential production due to the pressure exerted by Italian industrialists

March 24, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
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Italy is reeling under the COVID-19 crisis, with 63,928 cases and 6,078 deaths confirmed, as of March 23.

Italian trade union Unione Sindacale Di Base (USB) has called for a national strike on March 25, Wednesday, to ensure a complete shutdown of non-essential production in the country. The union said that despite the ongoing lockdown due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Italian government has not completely shut down non-essential manufacturing in the country, thereby exposing thousands of workers to the threat of infection.

In a statement, USB said that “faced with the reluctance of the government to close production and all public offices that do not provide essential services, the only possible measure to really contain the COVID-19 epidemic is the general strike.”

The USB accused prime minister Giuseppe Conte of being influenced by the Italian employers federation, the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria), and of risking the lives of tens of thousands of workers in the pursuit of maximizing profits. 

According to Partito Communista (PC), “Here, the health of workers and all the people are sacrificed at the altar of capitalist interests.” The Italian Communist Youth Federation (FGCI) has also extended support to the workers’ strike on March 25. Italy is reeling under the COVID-19 crisis, with nearly 64,ooo cases and over 6,000 deaths as of March 24.