The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Fiat Imposes What It Wants and Commits to Nothing

Oct 15, 2012

At the end of September, Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that he was junking promises Fiat made in 2010. Fiat had said then that it would invest at least 26 billion dollars in its Italian factories... but only IF the unions signed and the workers accepted huge concessions and gave up the right to strike.

In 2010, the press carried out a campaign backing the bosses’ demands. Fiat threatened to close down completely.

Facing an extortion campaign from Fiat, the government, the media and from two of the three main unions, workers at a Fiat factory in Naples and two in Turin voted to approve the agreements–but only by a small majority.

A “new company” was set up–(sounds just like the “new Chrysler” set up in 2009!). Fiat workers had to be hired by this company, specially created to not recognize previous labor agreements. Only the two unions that had backed the agreement were to be recognized in the plants.

Having extorted enormous concessions in 2010, Marchionne is now declaring in 2012 that there won’t be any 26 billion dollar investment.

That was already obvious. At the Naples factory, only 2,000 workers out of the 4,000 have been hired by the New Company and they were brought back only this September with reduced hours of work. One of the Turin plants is opened only a few days each month and most of its workers remain unemployed, still waiting to be rehired by the “new company.”

The only realistic response to the arrogance of Fiat’s bosses would be expropriation without compensation–so that funds would at least be available to pay the workers the company has dismissed. But only the workers could accomplish this expropriation.