Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Italy - From the meeting of the women workers of the Beretta factory a strong message of unity, inspirationt for struggle to all women workers

"Beautiful", as many women have said, has been the assembly of October 28 launched by the women workers in struggle of the Beretta factory and supported by the Assembly of Working Women and the RPFM.

Beautiful has been the spirit that was created throughout the "Assemblea operaie", [women workers assembly] a spirit of harmony, warmth, joy, which also made concrete the banner in the room "If one woman fights, all the other fight", but also of beautiful emotion on the part of some women workers in telling of life in the factory, of the difficult but necessary things to do.  An assembly in which 90% were factory women workers, and women laborers of other sectors. In addition to the large presence of Beretta, there were  the women workers of Montello, of the Salad factory, then women laborers of the Post Office, of the Public Employment, of the school, precarious; they were joined during the assembly by the voice, distant but close in the struggle and in the spirit, of the women workers of the social coops health and hygiene assistants of Palermo, of the women workers of the Pellegrini-contract Acciaierie d'Italia Taranto, of the women immigrants of the fields and slums through Campagne in lotta [Fields in struggle], and of various women workers of the “Assemblea donne/lavoratrici” [Women/Workers Assembly]. And together with the women comrades/workers of the Rpfm [Revolutionary proletarian feminist movement] from Palermo, L'Aquila, Bologna, Milan, women comrades of Si.cobas, of the September 23 Committee, young women comrades of Not one woman less Milan... 

An important and necessary assembly that can really be considered, as was said in the introduction, the first assembly specifically of the women workers who have taken the floor, women workers who have already entered into action through the struggles they make in the factory but who have forcefully placed in this assembly the need to strengthen, to extend these struggles by connecting,  joining other women workers, women laborers who struggle or who do not yet struggle but would like to organize to do so, because starting from the workplaces, of which they have told, denounced, it has clearly emerged how the attacks that are suffered by bosses and governments that represent them, inevitably intertwine with the more general condition of life as women. 

In this assembly were remembered the women workers killed at work and for work, such as Luana, Layla ... to which the assembly was dedicated with a great applause, women workers who continue to live through the struggles of other women workers. 

An assembly not rigid even in style, some Beretta women workers, women comrades wanted to speak from their seats and this also created a beautiful and warm atmosphere throughout the assembly introduced by the women comrade Rpfm of Palermo who explained its meaning, its message made to reach other factories and to bring in new others to other women workers/laborers, also denouncing the more general situation of double exploitation and oppression experienced by the majority of proletarian women in this country also in the perspective of the "new" Meloni government of the most reactionary right that has taken office, and the need to broaden the view ... the bosses make their front, we, women workers/laborers, must build our class front to respond to all attacks at 360 degrees. 

Then women workers spoke, first and foremost the Beretta women workers: the difficult situation in the factory, in which the bosses also aim to divide the women workers through contractual and wage differences; the attack suffered with the infamous bosses/Uil [a pro-government union] agreement that attacks basic rights such as maternity; the need to organize with the Slai Cobas per il sindacato di classe [Slai cobas for the class union], and to fight, and the difficulties that there are also in the struggle; but they stressed the importance of unity among women workers that gives strength and not only in the factory itself but also with women workers from other factories...

The speech of the Montello woman worker who started from the situation in the factory – less women workers and more hard working and exploitation - with also the denunciation of health conditions, discrimination compared to male workers, also reiterating with great force the importance of the unity of the factories because the struggle is difficult and we must not be alone

There were also speeches through telephone connections with some women workers of other cities who could not be present: 

from Taranto with a woman worker of the ex Ilva contracts who spoke of the similar attacks suffered at Pellegrini like those of Beretta: "we must be united even if in different job places. You Beretta women workers are courageous".  This woman worker spoke while she was in the factory working "so  - she said - we take time away from the bosses";

from Palermo with a precarious woman worker of the Social Coops who, starting from the struggle of the hygienic health assistants, has linked herself to the general struggle against attacks on women, in particular on the issue of abortion and the actions of struggle already put in place; 

a woman comrade of Campagne in Lotta also connected by telephone who, expressing full solidarity with the women workers and the whole assembly, said she wanted to strengthen the links by also making available all the experience of struggle that they carry out with immigrant women.

These telephone connections were appreciated, applauded by the women workers and by all creating sharing and unity.

The speech of comrade of Slai Cobas sc, organizer of the struggles of Beretta, as of the other factories in the area, framed the Beretta situation in the analysis of the laws of the capitalist system, of exploitation, oppression, racism, well expressed by the 'Beretta Family' whose boss claimed to take great care of the well-being of the animals, and says he is proud to make a line of products called "Long live mothers", while treating women workers badly and attacking maternity rights.

Also around this assembly new solidarity has been created or has been renewed, there are several messages from other women workers, such as some women workers of Clementoni (in the region Marche) who a few days earlier by telephone sent a solidarity greeting to the Beretta women workers also giving an initial information of their situation in the factory, of women comrades collectives, organisations that fight for safety and health in the workplace.

Many other messages were partly read, including that of the doctor spokesman of the “Rete lavoro sicuro” [Safe Work Network] who said that the struggle of the Beretta women workers is pioneer...; of other messages could only be given information because of the limited time, given that the Beretta women workers were in a trade union assembly, not taken for granted, but also this fruit of the struggle.

All the speeches received, even on the same day of the assembly, will be published.

A beautiful message was also read by an Iranian woman activist from Bergamo who greeted the assembly and the women workers and through which an internationalist connection was made with the exemplary struggle of Iranian women under the slogan "Women, Life, Freedom" applauded by all.

Then other speeches followed:

the women comrade of Si.Cobas Milan who spoke of the hard struggle of the hotel women workers, of the  important support coming from the Rpfm of Milan, from the women workers in struggle of Palermo, reiterating the need for unity, connection;

the women comrades of the " September 23 Committee" which, starting from the immediate struggles, extended to the more general denunciation of everything that affects women and in particular focused on the serious issue of feminicides; 

the women comrades of the Rpfm of Milan who have put on the one hand the need to grasp the class consciousness as sisters of the same exploited and oppressed class, and on the other hand the question of the attack on the right to abortion; what this attack means for women and in particular for working women, proletarian women; 

the comrade of Bologna who, reiterating the joy of being in the assembly, took up the discourse of the Resistance, of the action of the partisan women comrades in unity with proletarian women, linking the old with modern fascism; 

the women comrade of L'Aquila who informed about the positive initiative in L'Aquila in unity with the women comrades of the Collettivo Fuori Genere – Not one woman less Abruzzo - delivering the joint written message to the Beretta women workers. 

the young women comrades of Not one woman less Milano who, expressing all the solidarity willingness to make known the struggle of the Beretta women workers, have also stressed the need to create a link, and invited to the next assembly of Not one woman less in which there will also be a session on work.

A comrade of Si Cobas Milano pointed out the question of what concrete solidarity should be, and that we must not limit ourselves only to stating it; then the question of repression of struggles with particular reference to the workers of Italpizza and the next strike of December 2. To this speech the women comrade of Rpfm of Palermo responded clearly affirming the need not to have a myopic or even blind view on the question of solidarity that already exists and is concretely done by the women workers, and this assembly clearly shows it, so as the need to broaden the view on the question of women workers struggles because when they strike it is clear that they bring into the strike the daily struggles, but these are inevitably charged with all the condition of oppression that women suffer at 360 degrees, and on this she brought the concrete, real and effective example of the “women's strike”. 

It has been an assembly that is really a novelty in the class trade union panorama and in the women's movement, an important stage of a path that began about two years ago with the positive experience of the Assemblea Donne/Lavoratrici, which with this assembly advances, is enriched and must continue: to make every struggle the struggle of all, in support of the struggle of the Beretta women workers for the unity of the women workers/laborers, this is the real and concrete message from Trezzo [the factory’s city] to the other women workers; together with the step forward in raising the consciousness that a general struggle is necessary against the whole capitalist system of double exploitation and oppression, because: the whole life must change!" 

The videos of the speeches will be published and we will also collect them in a publication. 


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