Italcementi workers protest over closure of 6 plants

A delegation of about 400 employees of Italcementi in Italy showed this morning, Friday 11 October, the streets of Bergamo to protest the company’s intention to close 6 of the 15 establishments throughout the country. 

Workers gathered in garrison right from 7.30 in via Madonna della Neve, where the headquarters of Italcementi (“What future?” There is written on signboards at the entrance) and at 11 went off the parade with police to control the situation in terms of public order and the local police engaged on the front of the traffic that inevitably has suffered. Lots of flags, workers wearing helmets, white masks and shouted their protest with whistles and chants. 

They felt accents of various regions, has been a global outcry. Present the three provincial secretaries of trade unions or Luigi Bresciani, Ferdinand Marco Piccinini and Cicero. was exposed in front of the police station the banner “National Coordination RSU Italcementi,” the Prefecture a delegation attempted to have a meeting with the prefect but did not have received it because he had another commitment, so workers have left their leaflets, while the passage in front of the headquarters of Confindustria, who had the shutters down, he felt a general “Shame.” At 12.15 the garrison was reconstituted in via Madonna of the Snow with assistance from the RSU of several facilities.

They also talked about Maurizio Giancola, mayor of Scafa (province of Pescara), and Mauro Livi, national secretary Fillea-CGIL. A chorus of “We want guarantees for workers” and “the politics and government to play their part to revive the business.” A strike against Italcementi, which “is not complying with the agreements signed in January 2013,” and against the government “that has done and is doing nothing to boost investment and employment, to overcome the crisis. ” 

It is the sense of the event, according to Livi. In particular Livi stressed the “unilateral choice of Italcementi to close 3 of the 15 plants in Italy” while the agreements signed “provided the use of layoffs (24 months to 689 employees) and no further structural intervention.” With regard to the Government, unions demanded that the open table at the Ministry of Economic Development is to put in place “a business plan for the revival of the sector and appropriate means of income support to protect the employment and income of workers.” 

The reasons for the protest The cement market continues to suffer in Italy (20% less than the figure for this year) and this pushes the Italcementi to update the plan of reorganization of Italy. Compared to the plan presented in December 2012, the update statement in recent days in Rome by the secretariats of national FILCA-CISL, CGIL and Fillea-Feneal-Uil is the suspension of production, starting from February 2014, the Monselice cement plants, in the province of Padua, and Scafa, in the province of Pescara, employing about 170 workers. Of these, 110 are in layoffs as it was already foreseen a possible conversion into grinding centers. 

With the suspension of production, the other 60 workers in layoffs activities will be placed in the conditions laid down in December, with a supplementary income from the company of EUR 550 thousand Euros per month and all ‘ year for medical expenses and education of the family. Italcementi closing but does not speak of “suspension of production ‘, when the cement market will remain on the current low levels, Italcementi – as is happening in the former production site of Vibo Valentia – will work , by having recourse to specialized companies to look for alternative solutions to the production of cement made by other businesses. 

The Group confirms that “the decision to put in place interventions closure or restructuring of some Italian plants of the group is due to the further sharp drop in sales of cement in Italy. The volumes today are more than halved compared to seven years ago, and in Italy there is, overall, an absorption rate of the product is not more than 30-35 per cent of installed capacity. ” Hence the “rationalization of its production network “to” ensure the company holding in a dramatic phase of the market. ” 

The response of the union and of the Coordination of RSUs do not have to wait long, with a 16-hour strike and protest rally today. A statement issued at the time by Feneal-Uil, FILCA-CGIL-CISL and Fillea Bergamo, there was talk of protest revolt “against plans to close 6 plants about 15 in Italy: on October 11, the first 8-hour strike and demonstration at the entrance of Via Madonna della Neve Italcementi in Bergamo. Meanwhile it is also the party block of overtime in all locations of the group. ” 

“This is our response to the decision of Italcementi direction that contradicts the contents of the agreement that he signed with us last January – said Giuseppe Mancini Feneal-Uil, Umberto Judges the FILCA-CISL and Luciana Fratus of Fillea-CGIL Bergamo – The company’s decision will result in the loss of employment for 62 people in Scafa and 100 in Monselice. For the continuous production of these and other establishments, the agreement beginning of the year included an assessment on time, in 2015: possible that in 8 months have already questioned as signed in January? 

These jobs are likely to be lost should be added the almost 180 sites of Vibo Valentia and Porto Empedocles. The strike will also ask that we proclaimed the enforceability of the agreement in terms of rotation of workers in Checkout.

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