On June 25, Thursday, major metalworkers unions in Italy gathered at Piazza del Popolo in Rome, demanding an improvement in work conditions post the COVID-19 crisis. The mobilization was called by unions, including the Federation of Italian Metal Mechanics (FIM), Italian Federation of Metal Workers (FIOM) and the Union of Italian Metal Mechanics Workers (UILM). The demonstrating workers alleged that many of the long-pending work-related disputes in the sector have not been resolved by the government.
FIOM general secretary Francesca Re David said, “You cannot think of leaving the COVID emergency while leaving unresolved old crises, as well as the new crises of this time. We must restart by focusing on work.”
Addressing the gathering, UILM secretary-General Rocco Palombella stated, “From April to June, we lost over 17% of the GDP. In the months of March and April alone, we burned 200 billion in industrial production. According to the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), in 2020 we risk losing two million jobs, and in March and April alone we have already lost about 300 thousand of them. Four out of 10 companies halved their invoice and 70% made use of layoffs. Over eight million workers have been subjected to forced layoffs. Those who were laid off received a check of just 900 euros per month. There are tens of thousands of workers who have yet to receive it! “
Marco Bentivogli from FIM-CISL also addressed the protesters on Thursday. Activists of the Front of the Communist Youth (FGC) are also campaigning for the metalworkers, calling to ‘let the masters pay for the crisis’.