This morning, during the strike at Lidl in Biandrate, a truck driver broke the picket line of the workers on strike, running over and crushing under the wheels of the truck, Adil Belakdim, the SI Cobas coordinator of Novara.
The behavior of the truck driver was criminal, as it had been that of the truck driver who years ago in Piacenza ran over Abd Elsalam Ahmed Eldanf, a worker of the Usb, in very similar circumstances. It would be too easy, however, to blame an individual for this murder. The killing of Adil Belakdim is a collective crime that directly involves the bosses of logistics – with FedEx at the head –, all the employers, the Draghi government.
This killing calls into play the bosses of logistics, because, with FedEx playing the leading role once held by Marchionne’s Fiat / FCA, they seem to be willing to launch a frontal attack on the immigrant proletariat working in the logistics sector; the very same proletariat that in a decade long cycle of struggles led by the SI Cobas has been able to inflict important (although not definitive) blows to the mafia-like system of contracts and sub-contracts, conquering levels of wages, working hours, a long-time-denied freedom of organization in the workplace, respect for their dignity – a mafia-like system, which is the weapon through which multinational companies super-exploit worker labor (not only in logistics: think of Fincantieri, world record holder in the use of sub-contracts), imposing levels of precariousness, of intensity of work and of working hours, so devastating that within 10-15 years they end up wearing out and breaking the muscles and bodies of many workers; all of this in exchange for wages that were often, until recent times, below the subsistence levels.
These employers (with the US FedEx in the lead), who have been working for some time to build and put into action their private squads against workers’ strikes, have blood on their hands.
But it is not just about the emplyers in the logistics sector.
Behind the growing aggressiveness displayed by these bosses, there lies the whole capitalist class (with Bonomi’s Confindustria at its head), which, sensing the possibility of a “recovery” – that is, a recovery of the accumulation of profits – does not intend to bear any obstacle in its way.
Capitalists are in a hurry, a cursed haste, they push with bestial fury on the acceleration pedal of trucks, assembly lines, computers, all sorts of operations in the production and circulation of goods. Profit, the sole purpose for which the bosses of all kind and managers of every skin color live, is made up of moments, of time stolen from the working class, and every single moment is precious for this class of vampires, thirsty for the vital energy of the proletarians and proletarians. Why was Luana D’Orazio crushed in Prato by a warper? Now it is official: the owners of the factory had tampered with the electrical panel and the mechanical part of the machinery to make it go faster; they cared nothing that was working at the dangerous machine an apprentice, and she could leave there, together with her youth of 22 years, her dreams. The one and only thing that mattered to them was the maximum speed of the machine because that was the measure of the speed of making profits. And in this, as in the rest (for example in the violation of the most elementary rules regarding apprenticeship), they were and they are a perfect embodiment of the capitalist class, which is absolutely indifferent to the “unfortunate chance” of producing every year, in the world, 2 million of deaths from “accidents” at work and occupational diseases, plus the murder of hundreds of union activists.
To call into play only the bosses, however, is too little, incredibly little. Because that which in recent months has protected and legitimized this climate of brutal exploitation of labor and violent aggression to workers’ struggles, to the avant-gardes of struggle (and Adil was exactly this: a real vanguard of struggle) was the Draghi government, the government of the worst anti-worker scoundrels in circulation. For months the police and carabinieri have been pounding the SI Cobas pickets. For months, police officers, magistrates and toady journalists, under the shrewd direction of the government, have resorted to every means (first of all physical violence and disinformation combined) to try to crush the struggle of the FedEx porters fired in Piacenza. With this behavior, the executive urges the employers to do their part directly, as it has been well understood by the Amerikan FedEx, the very Italian Zampieri and Fincantieri (a few days ago in Ancona a a foreman wounded a young Bengali worker because he had made a wrong operation and was going “too slow”), the Chinese masters of Texprint, and so on.
And when you say government, you say: state, because the executive is the main operational institution of the state. That state which for the very large part of the workers, and a large number of comrades, unfortunately still remains an entity “above the parties” – or at least a less capitalist entity than the capitalists. Obviously, this is not just an Italian trend – the sequence of increasingly deeper crises in the last twenty years experienced by global capitalism gives a global character both to the intensification of the exploitation of labor, and to the intensification of authoritarian processes, toghether with the “state of exception” which increasingly resembles to a police state – as we see day after day, in the pandemic and outside the pandemic.
If we do not react to this trend with all of our energy, concentration of forces, spirit and class organization, from now on it will be not only with the usual maneuvers of division and diversion, but also with iron clubs, sticks, the brick blows in the head, the tear gas, the arrests and the murders that the bosses / government axis will move to stop the inevitable awakening of the working class. We must do everything possible to nip this trend in the bud, and in any case equip ourselves to fight it with the most appropriate forms of workers’ self-defense, since the one described is certainly not a passing phenomenon.
The tragic end of our comrade Adil gives a particular meaning and strength to today’s strike, which for the first time in a long time involves almost all of the “grassroots” trade unionism. It gives a particular meaning and strength to tomorrow’s demonstration in Rome, called against layoffs, against repression, against the Draghi government. It gives a sign of further urgency to the preparation of a great general strike marking the beginning of a proletarian comeback going far beyond the logistics sector alone. The immigrant logistic proletarians have given, in an entire decade of sometimes memorable battles, an example of class combativeness and pride which is now time for the most lively and conscious part of the autochtonous proletariat to pick up too .
In these hours, it is a good sign that also elsewhere, in the “grassroots” trade unionism, there is talk of giving this employer-state escalation “a response of a determined and unitary general struggle”. Another good sign is that something is also moving within the CGIL, with the comrades of the opposition in the CGIL of the Elettrolux of Susegana immediately calling a strike in solidarity with the struggling logistics workers, and in mourning for the death of Adil.
But we cannot be satisfied with these first signs – we must aim at the mass of proletarians, both unionized and non-unionized, being certain that their present silence contradictorily contains, together with fear, mistrust, and even resignation, a deep anger and a suffocated desire for reaction, which can suddenly become irrepressible due to the quantity and brutality of humiliations and harassment suffered.
We, comrades of the Revolutionary Internationalist Tendency, who for years have insisted on the need to work on the constitution of an anti-capitalist struggle front capable of speaking to the proletariat as a whole, confident that the stagnation of the struggles is not forever, we can only welcome positively the dynamics that led to this strike day and tomorrow’s demonstration in Rome. But this dynamic will have to take further impetus, and overwhelm particularisms, opportunisms, winks or compromises with bourgeois institutional forces, minoritarist attitudes, sedimented by years of recoil of struggles and growing (and theorized) mistrust in the class, to regain a vision of the class conflict, an integral revolutionary perspective that is able to cope with the attack that is being brought to us, here and on the international scale.
June 18 – Revolutionary Internationalist Tendency