Logistics workers in Italy continue struggle against anti-labor policies of FedEx-TNT

Logistics giant FedEx-TNT closed down its hub in Piacenza in Italy and announced mass lay-offs. Workers from the company’s hubs across the country have joined protests demanding the reinstatement of those who lost their jobs

June 11, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Mobilization at FedEx, Bologna. Photo : Si Cobas Bologna

The workers of the logistics giant FedEx-TNT in Italy intensified their agitation against the attack on their rights and in defense of their freedom to unionize. Since June 8, workers from warehouses of FedEx-TNT across Italy joined the protest in solidarity with their colleagues in Piacenza. FedEx-TNT Piacenza workers were subjected to police atrocities and closure of the plant after which hundreds were laid off. The protesters are demanding that the management reinstate all the workers. The Si Cobas union gave a call for a strike and mobilization in Rome on June 19, demanding the government’s intervention.

Devastated by the effects of the COVID-19 crises and exploitation, workers in the logistics sector — including Amazon, Nippon Express, FedEx-TNT — have been organizing mobilizations against job cuts and workers’ rights. By the end of January, TNT workers under the leadership of Si Cobas started a strike against the layoffs announced by the company – a total of 6,300 layoffs in Europe, of which 650 are in Italy, including in the Piacenza unit. FedEx-TNT had announced the closure of its Piacenza hub by the end of March. 

On March 10, the police in the Piacenza launched a crack down, raiding homes and union offices of the workers.The police action was viewed as response to a week-long strike organized by the workers of the TNT warehouse against layoffs.

Si Cobas union stated that the value of organized worker resistance in the face of the aggression of the multinational employers and state repression stands out in a special way. “It is important to learn from this organization in solidarity with FedEx workers in Piacenza — who were fired on the spot because they are too “expensive”, too organized, with their spines unbent — by workers of the entire supply chain, from north to south, without exception, at least where Si Cobas is present.”

The Communist Youth Front (FGC) expressed solidarity with protesting logistic workers across Italy and joined the picket lines.