Chronicle of the Struggles at Fiat Mirafiori and SPA Stura-Red Brigades
Agnelli’s Recent Steps Towards the Construction of the Imperialist State of the Multinationals
After the signing of the “social pact” with the unions in November, another step in the neocorporative project, G.Agnelli is implementing a precise confindustrial strategy through which he aims to directly intervene in the state.
In his last speech to the annual assembly of Confindustria he blamed the “inadequacy of political leadership” for the development of “parasitism” and “waste” in public industry. With his repeated references to “efficiency” he essentially wants to assert “efficiency” as a new metric for the distribution of power in society. And because according to Agnelli, in these years of “crisis” the most solid and efficient structure is private industry, this must become the centre of economic, political and ideological power and the state must be adjusted to its needs.
Hoping for a new mode of governance, Agnelli does not intend to draw attention away from the DC, as he stated to Espresso, nether an excessive electoral drop nor a major boast for the DC is acceptable to him.
The resolution of the problem cannot be found in the modification of the current political balance between the parties of the constitutional area, but in the renewal of the DC itself, which must always remain the party of government in its personnel and functions. A DC which knows how to satisfy to the full the economic and political needs of the big multinationals, which is capable of establishing the imperialist order of the multinationals within the structure of state and society.
Restructuring at Fiat
“It is still the bosses and not the movement who are on the offensive. We must start with an analysis of what the enemy is doing…”
The lines along which Fiat carries out restructuring remain those already described in the March report: “The Current Stage of Restructuring at Fiat”. Here we can only provide some examples which illustrate what has been outlined there.
In the annual assembly of Fiat shareholders, G.Agnelli has repeated that the “new model of development” is unacceptable and that Fiat continues to focus on the export market to a massive extent (which has risen from 40% to 45% of production with a share of penetration in the common market which has risen from 16 to 17.59%) and reduce its orientation to domestic consumers (demand in the auto sector has fallen 22% in Italy).
Investments made by Fiat in 1974 reached an unprecedented maximum of 353 billion vs 237 billion in 1973 but as we have noted they are not made in the framework of a new development model. The cassa integrazione requests issued for the Termini Imeresse facility in recent days, a facility which must be enhanced according to the 1973 plans, further illustrate Fiat’s inclinations.
In the implementation of the “diversification of production” strategy and along the lines of the most efficient productivist, Agnelli has recently once more conformed a Fiat objective: what he calls the “maximum utilization of the resources of the country”, that is to say of capital and labour power.
That means the maximum utilization of existing facilities, the maximum intensification of worker exploitation, and a drive to actualize the possibility of transferring entire masses of workers from one sector of production to the other (from automotive to special projects to diversified products etc…) alongside the intrasectoral worker mobility which has already been practiced for some time on a massive scale.
But to reach such an objective, the biggest obstacle which Fiat must find a way to overcome is the capacity of the working class for attack and resistance. The unions must take up a large part of the task of breaking this obstacle: the Lawyer has reminded them of this in his recent statements.
To finance its restructuring Fiat aims to find funding sources beyond its shareholder base, which has been shown to be a clearly inadequate source of capital ( in 74’ for the first time in history, Fiat resorts to the banks with a loan request of 396 billion).
The new capital must be provided through the authoritative credit of the banks and through direct financing on the part of the government, which must no longer divert capital to maintain “parasitic” and “inefficient” structures, but rather assign it to the multinational enterprises.
Fiat’s tendency to split up production on an international level not only affects the auto sector but also industrial vehicles, as is shown by the April formation of the IVECO international group. It includes sixteen facilities for the construction of trucks, buses and special vehicles located in Italy, France and Germany and has its central headquarters in Amsterdam.
With such operations Fiat not only adjusts production to the international level, it also tends to behave as a foreign multinational in Italy as well. The decision making centres and capital of the sector are transferred abroad, to the Netherlands, and the workers of the Italian facilities are detached from the Turin administration. Moreover Fiat can enjoy the privileges which the state provides to foreign industry which invests in Italy. It is an operation similar to that carried out in 74’ with the fusion of the Fiat earth moving machinery sector and the American Allis-Chalmers.
A reality which characterizes the workers movement in Fiat in particular and in the Turin factories more generally is the major political leap due to awareness that the terrain of conflict can no longer remain enclosed within the factory but must move onto the decisive terrain of the state.
On this terrain it shows a strong willingness to mobilize but at the same time a major limit in what is expressed, at least in this period, with housing occupations, (in the last occupation after the murder of comrade Micciche as in those before the occupiers are almost all workers of small and medium Fiat factories), the struggle against fascists; the authorization of telephone charges. Within the factories a situation of spontaneous struggles against the aspects of restructuring and the intensification of exploitation continues, struggles which are a form of spontaneous resistance without strategy or tactics.
Despite the movement and vanguards of Fiat turning ever greater attention to the political terrain, they are not yet able to articulate a comprehensive strategy.
After months of disorientation and search for such a strategy the autonomous vanguards of Fiat are gathered around the objective “reduction of hours and wage equality”. As such they tend to fall on the platformist terrain.
As for the relationship between the union and the working class the reformist organization experiences a major loss of credibility which manifests in the desertion of union activity by delegates (there are mass resignations on the Ferriere factory council) and of active elements even outside of the factory.
To further demonstrate this we are reproducing figures on FLM membership in the mechanical section of Mirafiori noting beforehand that these figures are affected in a significant way by Fiat’s transfer policy:
Total workforce: 6/1974 workers 15870
Total workforce: 4/1975 workers 18000
Enrolled FLM members 12/1973 5979
Enrolled FLM members 12/1974 5438
Enrolled FLM Members 4/1975 4513
Moreover there is an increasing refusal by workers of mobilization for alien goals as has been demonstrated by the struggles on the social terrain and by the “red week” where workers from the major Turin factories were at the head of the processions and the assault on the headquarters of the MSI.
The general strike of April 22nd saw enormous adhesion and participation but the movement spilled into the streets under the banner of militant antifascism and not so much for the objectives for which the strike was called by the confederations.
But now the key deadline for the movement is after the holidays, that is the contracts. This is something of which the bosses are also well aware and they are already preparing to reach that deadline in a strong position. Analysing what are and what will be the movements of the bosses in preparation for such a deadline is fundamental; it is still the bosses and not the movement who are on the offensive: therefore we must begin our analysis with what the enemy is doing in order to be better able to identify our line of intervention and our timeline.
We want to provoke discussion on one point. We assert that a blatant project of union splitting is underway; this project can be accomplished in two ways; an authentic split with the exit of the rightist forces from the CISL and the UIL to than construct an immense yellow union or alternatively; perpetuating a demoralizing battle within the unions through the activity of the right and building a yellow union strong enough to not only condition the unionist right but to act as blackmail. As regards the latter proposition SIDA has already began to make moves. This yellow union tends to become increasingly strong not so much from a numerical as from a political point of view. As a first step SIDA is unified on the provincial level with the independent unions of other categories. The goal of this manoeuvre is the construction of a yellow union with a more comprehensive framework and a political weight which can be put into play not only at Fiat but in broader political projects.
Political Diary of the Struggle at Fiat Mirafiori and SPA Stura
The struggle at Mirafiori was opened by that of the “privileged” sectors like the forklift and crane operators for category changes, arousing many contradictions between the workers and union bureaucracy, it extends in shops and departments down to the assembly line workers.
In the May-June period the struggle extends to Mechanical and then to Press on shop platforms, reaching exemplary levels of political and organizational autonomy in both its objectives and its forms of struggle and reveals the high level of political maturity of the Fiat working class and its vanguards. The same can be said for SPA Stura and Fiat Rivalta.
In the beginning a certain drive for struggle even comes from the unions; to maintain a certain level of mobilization in the factories in order to control the existing discontent which could explode in a manner beyond union containment at any moment. Another reason for this drive on the part of the unions is the contradictions generated within their own base level structures by Fiat’s restructuring policies, which through their indiscriminate use of mobility, remove any capacity for union delegates to effectively exercise power.
But when the struggle reveals all its class antagonism and its offensive and power seizing characteristics, the unions don’t delay in acting to contain it, end it, and with the goal of repressing it sign agreements with Fiat which have the sole political objective of reestablishing social peace in the factory, as a necessary precondition for the “governability” of the country.
Now beginning with June 11th we will examine the offensive, antagonistic movements and the contradictions of the Fiat working class and its vanguards.
June 11th 1975
In Mirafiori Mechanical the struggle on shop platforms has now been developing for three weeks, involving ever more extensive groups of workers. Now in the corridors of shop 76 after a meeting with Fiat management which has responded negatively on all the points presented in the platform, more than 2000 workers participate in an assembly called by the union.
There is a combative and harsh atmosphere like that felt in the shop at the time of the contract. In Mechanical the vanguards standing “at the ready” to respond to the provocations of Fiat which ever more frequently imposes forced leave, and determined to carry the struggle to the end find a strong response on the mass level. In such an atmosphere the union staffers make “left” speeches but avoid commenting on the objectives of the struggle even if they cannot oppose them. In fact the objectives of the platforms are autonomous: they demand category transfer for all with a sharp refusal of the discourse of “professionalism”, a major point for the union in the 1973 contract.
The will of the workers to lead the struggle in the first person and not delegate anything to anyone emerges clearly from the interventions. The absence of the delegates most closely linked to the unions, who disconcerted by the development of autonomy have not yet taken a position on the struggle is harshly denounced.
At the end of the assembly it is decided to intensify the struggle. Outside the assembly the strikes continue: the forklift operators strike for four hours, the engine test workers for one hour, and the workers of shop 62 for one hour. At shift end Fiat attacks the struggle: on a 128 assembly line the workers are put on forced leave with the pretext that the bellows are saturated. In the space of a few minutes the workers begin to organize a procession and the bosses immediately invite them to return to work: suddenly the bellows are empty.
Struggles also break out in Press. In shop 65 (large presses) the workers open the confrontation with a two hour strike. Here also the platform is autonomous: third level for all, abolition of night shift, wage equalization for all with the elimination of bonuses.
Again in Press the inspectors in shops 61 and 63 (small and medium press), the harness workers in the Auxiliary shop and those employed in forklift maintenance strike for two hours.
In Central Units the workers of shop 61 strike for three hours.
In SPA Stura the struggle for the shop platforms continues as well. They have as objectives, the categories, breaktime increase, the workforce. Today a total of 2000 workers go on strike. The struggle has now extended throughout Mechanical: two strikes traverse a long list of work processes: for the first time in SPA Mechanical a hard and combative procession forms which circles the departments striking the scabs.
Upholstery continues in a systematic fashion with two hour strikes every shift, while in bodywork the workers on the large cabins “spoil production everyday”. They have already waged a 15 day struggle and are ready to start again because bodywork is mobilizing as well as the testing area.
The bus workers had already gone into struggle yesterday but a dozen or so transfers were able to block mobilization. The only point in the factory not ready to begin struggle is the five lines of carriage assembly: this is the weakest point in the whole factory because it has a predominant presence of UIL delegates, who having made the line of the “social pact” their own, do nothing to organize struggle.
Even other Fiat sections are permeated by struggle. In the Electronics Production section, 250 workers carry out a coordinated half hour stoppage over qualifications and work environment. In Fiat Rivalta the forklift operators in bodywork strike eight hours per shift today over qualifications: other stoppages occur in painting.
By the second shift one can estimate that more then 6000 Fiat workers are in struggle in various sections. This stage of growth in the struggle has definitively lost its initial characteristics of fragmentary and confused upsurge punctuated by sudden explosions, to assume those of a more organic trend with a high political level.
In Mirafiori Mechanical the first shift forklift operators strike from 6 to 9 and 100% of the testing area workers strike in two hour instalments. Fiat responds with forced leave: all of 6 and 30 of the engine assembly line for the 128 and all the 7 and 5 lines are ordered to leave. In this latter point the vanguards seek to organize a procession but organizational weakness works against them.
Around 8 the workers of engine assembly for the 128 which in the meantime has imposed the resumption of work declare an immediate strike and organize a procession of roughly 400 workers which after having gathered the comrades of five lines as well, marches towards the employee building to demand payment for the hour of forced leave; reaching there many comrades push to climb up en masse but only a delegation goes on. The managers postpone negotiations till afternoon and in the meantime officially declare that they are applying fines against the workers who remain in the factory after being ordered to return home. In response to this declaration the workers of shop 83 immediately go on strike for a half hour.
At shift change it is the turn of the Christian Democrats who unwisely attempt electoral propaganda outside gate 17 of Press.
Even though they already know there is no place for them in Mirafiori, they try all the same. There are three individuals, REVELLI, GIRADI and GATTI who prudently stand on the sidelines, somewhat concealed. However as soon as the comrades notice their presence all gather around the stage, which begins to shake under their kicks, as they insult, interrupt and mock the speaker. There is nothing left for the Christian Democrats to do but pack up early and leave while the stage collapses to the ground. There is great satisfaction among PCI comrades who participated actively in the fun.
Within the factory the DC only finds support among the men of SIDA who in this pre electoral period make propaganda for people like PICCO (incumbent mayor of Turin), ARNAUD and DONAT CATTIN.
At Stura strikes continue with regularity, in mechanical many work processes also stop today for two hours: the upholstery workers also continue the struggle and the workers on the large cabins continue to “spoil” production with a daily loss of 7 to 8 cabins. Many small processions patrol the departments during the strikes ensuring the total closure of the lines.
In the afternoon the engine testing area holds an assembly to join the struggle as well. It is a situation of ferment in which the comrades and the vanguards work to the maximum to extend the struggle to every point of the factory.
Towards evening, in negotiation Fiat repeats the position of strict refusal towards the platform demands. The delegates decide to break off negotiations and expand the struggle throughout the factory.
In Rivalta there is a compact strike of 1100 workers in Press for two hours, and another also of two hours of the forklift drivers in bodywork.
Many other strikes occur in other sections of Fiat like Electrical production in Osa Lingotto, spare parts in Volvera, and Ages Fiat in Santena. In total in the various sections of Fiat there now more than 9000 workers in struggle over shop and department disputes.
During the night the cars of two shop bosses at Rivalta are attacked: they are DOMINICO CASERTANO and ADOLFO RIZZUTI. The 124 of the first is destroyed while for the car of the second the incendiary charge (sadly) fails.
Also Fiat applies a general increment to the list price for some cars, from around 5 to 7%. Among the models affected is the 126 the compact car which has become increasingly accessible for the workers. Regarding this SIDA makes a public statement of “moderate criticism” which La Stampa will report (in the business section no less) without making any reference to the position of the FLM.
In SPA Stura the breakoff of negotiations is followed by a discharge of struggle with an enormous growth of autonomous worker’s initiative. At Bodywork which as was already said is ready to join the struggle, the workers of Large Cabins strike for two hours; Upholstery which yesterday afternoon had prolonged a two hour strike to four hours against two scabs, this morning strikes another four hours: for the first time in spot welding a line declares a two hour strike, adding even more, and the weakest point of the factory the chassis assembly line also enters into the struggle. Finally, for the first time in this dispute the bus workers go on strike.
The union has called stoppages only for the departments already in struggle and all of them in SPA. Therefore there is a strong push towards the generalization of the struggle in SPA, in the wake of the generalization occurring in the other Fiat sectors: and at the centre of this debate, beyond the objectives of the various platforms there stands the question of power.
At Mirafiori the unionists continue negotiations; the workers continue the struggle, in Mechanical the test area and cabin detailing strike for two hours, the 128 line continues the struggle against forced leave remaining in the factory after suspension. Also in Mechanical, in shop 78 the boss GENERO transfers a union representative in retaliation for defending a worker; the department quickly responds striking and demanding the transfer of GENERO. But this bastard immediately sends a communique to management in which he demands measures against the strikers for “abandoning their work duties”.
Meanwhile in Bodywork something new happens: the polishing workers for the 131 stop work for an hour demanding transfer to the third level and the painting workers for the 127 strike for an hour demanding transfer to fourth level and environmental improvements.
The day after the election. The electoral results are not in yet, and the Stura and Mirafiori workers while awaiting them continue the struggle.
In SPA there are quite a few obstacles to the advance of the great wave of struggle which last Friday swept over practically all of bodywork and many departments in Mechanical. There is actually a disturbing lack of guidance from the union, for example in the leaflets distributed over the morning, they, strangely, forget to note the start time for the various strikes: moreover many delegates committed to electoral seats are absent from work. Nevertheless, the key departments, those which count for the generalization of the struggle have continued the stoppage with two hours of strike.
The good result of the mobilization therefore illustrates the level of autonomy and organization reached by the working class of SPA; this is a political reality which defines the struggle.
Another reality is that the terrains of the struggle in the factory and of the general political conflict are not at all separate in worker consciousness; this is shown by the political debate on the more general terrain of the class confrontation which develops among the working class (not only of SPA) and has marked the various stages of the electoral campaign, debate in which the DC comes to be identified as the political centre of the reaction and therefore as an enemy to be struck by all means until it is defeated (consider the expulsion of the Christian Democrats from Mirafiori).
At Mirafiori though today is Monday, it is not a “dead” day: several stoppages block many departments in Mechanical for various periods.
The electoral results are released. In Turin the PCI is the first party with 305790 votes equal to 37%; the DC takes only 194747 votes, equal to 24%; a decisive defeat for the Christian Democrats! The Workers Democracy list 10500 votes obtaining a seat in the municipal council. La Stampa which exulted in a “secular Turin” after the referendum on divorce, must now note with some concern that Turin is red.
A wave of enthusiasm enters all the Fiat factories. In the departments there is a celebratory atmosphere and a heated discussion which exults not so much in the victory of the PCI as a party, but rather in the general advance to the left as a hard blow to the DC.
In the Auxiliary section of Press comrades raise an improvised red flag over the line. During work on the line many workers stand with transistor radios to their ears to hear the results.
The conversations which highlight the thrashing of the Christian Democrats occur alongside those of the proletarians who up to now have fought with housing occupations, self reduction of bills…and who see in the “red council” the possibility of an immediate satisfaction of their own needs. And it is with these demands and with the demand for power which is ever increasing among the workers in the large factories that the “red” council must soon reckon with in Turin.
Fiat’s command structure also has its reactions to the electoral results, on the shop floor the bosses are silent and patrol the departments with great trepidation, one could almost say fear!
With the enthusiasm for the electoral results the struggle continues: the union declares an hour of strike today for a series of departments in Mirafiori Mechanical which record complete participation, the engine testing area extends the strike by another hour.
In Stura SPA enthusiasm for the elections also strengthens the struggle. Almost all of Mechanical stops for two hours. On the “big line” for engine assembly management decrees forced leave, however the workers refuse to leave and strike till the end of the shift. In the steel department some workers strike between 9:20 and end of shift in response to the arrival of the time keepers. The workers in chassis painting strike for six hours against the workload. Other stoppages occur in Bodywork. The decision is made for two hours of strike tomorrow in various departments with the intention of generalizing the struggle to the greatest possible extent.
A rather unique incident occurs during the two hours of strike at SPA mechanical: the workers form a procession and after leaving the factory they sit down in the gardens in front of the employee building under the eyes of management. Here a radio is connected to loudspeakers and for a while the assembled workers lay on the grass and quietly listen to the election results.
Political reflection on the significance of the election results and on the future development of the class struggle advances within the factory on the wave of department stoppages. In Mirafiori Mechanical the workers in shop 72 strike two hours for transfer to fourth level: the first hour was planned the second determined autonomously. The five lines also stop for one hour.
In the testing area, the inspection workers for the 127, the 131 and the 132 go on two hour strikes at different times completely blocking production throughout the entire work process for more than an hour.
But Fiat does not passively endure these blows and prepares to launch a series of attacks directly against the struggle. Towards 11 the 127 line in Bodywork is put on forced leave. The manoeuvre catches the workers by surprise and they organize no response. This show of weakness by the movement in bodywork must be traced back to the period of stasis endured by this sector.
On the second shift during the planned strike hour, a small procession leaves mechanical and marches to the employee building where negotiations are ongoing: once having arrived the workers decide to send a delegation to assist in the negotiation. But workers control of union negotiations is a little too much for Fiat and they have no intention of accepting it passively. Around five o’clock workers in Mechanical are also ordered home; those working on the 127 and the 131 are put on forced leave. But the worker response is more decisive than ever: from Mechanical 1 and 2 forms a single procession from which immediately resounds the slogan “all to the head office!”.
The large procession of around 3000 workers starts up the chant “Turin is red, managers in a ditch” and “power to the workers” and goes to surround the employee building. Under the impact of this large procession the gates are opened immediately and a hundred or so workers rush into the offices where negotiations over payment for forced leave are ongoing. Under such pressure vice director of personnel DIONISIO has no choice but to concede. So at 6:15 as time is running out for Fiat’s response on the terms set by the workers, news arrives that the hours of forced leave will be fully paid. Then to singing of Bandiera Rossa and shouts of “victory, victory” the procession reforms and marches through the shops.
Also at SPA the strikes and department stoppages continue with an added momentum coming from the strikes and processions of previous days which have triggered a process of consolidation and generalization of struggle.
While the newspapers report on Agnelli’s concerns over the election results at 7:30 in front of gate 8 of Fiat Rivalta an armed revolutionary unit strikes deputy shop chief PAOLO FOSSAT known prosecutor of the working class and many times denounced and put on trial by the movement. He is shot six times, four times in the legs. The armed unit opened fire on FOSSAT while he was exiting his 127 with a 7.65 calibre silenced pistol. The injuries to FOSSAT are slight however and his prognosis for recovery is only 15 days.
The CC of Orbassano with the Marshall RE, Captain FORMATO of the Turin investigative team and the political squad of Police HQ are all on the scene. The Rivalta district is immediately blocked and occupied by roadblocks which stop everyone. The action is clarified with a press communique which we reproduce below in its entirety:
“This morning at 7:45 we have struck the person of FOSSAT PAOLO (via de Amicis 11, Rivalta) deputy shop chief of the painting department and one of the most dedicated implementers of the attack which under the name of restructuring the Turin enterprise carries out against worker organization in the factory. The recent struggles of the Rivalta comrades concluding with the mass trial and expulsion from the factory of the other two chiefs, has identified him as not only a faithful errand boy of management but as a principle author and directly responsible party in many disciplinary sanctions; terminations, transfers, fines. In a moment in which the crisis illustrates the arbitrary and violent characteristics of the system of wage slavery the task which is on the agenda of the revolutionary organizations is the exposure and destruction of its articulations.
CLASS WAR FOR COMMUNISM
P.S honour to comrade Mara fallen in the struggle for communism.”
The Industrial Union, Fiat management, SIDA and the FLM immediately take positions.
The executives declare “we bosses claim the right to manage the organization of the factory”: towards evening a group of bosses go to request protection from the Turin police.
At Rivalta the FLM (asked by Fiat) immediately declares a one hour strike in solidarity with FOSSAT. But we know what happens with such strikes: the strike is refused. Where work is interrupted it is only because Fiat blocks the lines: at Bodywork on the second shift the workers demand the council of the sector revoke the strike, threatening to go to the employee building to demand payment for the hour off if Fiat has blocked the lines.
Solidarity which was supposed to be for FOSSAT goes completely in favour of the armed action. Aside from this, in terms of the reactions and the debate which the action arouses in Rivalta we don’t know anything else to say. We are more aware of the reactions occurring in Mirafiori and we will discuss this further, following the struggle. In the morning, in Mechanical, word spreads that a manager was shot in Rivalta: on a mass level the most negative reaction to the word of mouth rumour is indifference, the most positive enthusiasm. But no precise information is yet available and the debate does not develop. Meanwhile the struggle continues with a strong debate on the struggle yesterday afternoon: at 9 the two planned strike hours for mechanical begin and the workers meet in assembly. They all expect to be put on forced leave and the workers say among themselves “if they order us home, we go to management and throw them out the window.”
And Agnelli’s provocation arrives but this time on an immense scale: all of Mechanical is put on forced leave. But the immediate response is also immense, to the cry “it is time, power to those who work” they march harder and more combative than yesterday on the usual target: the managers building! Once arrived there, a hundred comrades move into management offices looking to track down DIONISIO to once again demand payment for the hours of forced leave. The bulk of the procession stops around the employee building, graffiti is written on the walls and two red flags are raised as signs of proletarian power and the employees are “invited” to leave. After a little while another procession arrives from Mechanical 2 to reinforce the watch over the employee building.
This day of enthusiastic struggle like that of yesterday reveals some political facts it is right to underline. An enormous combativity and decisiveness are now everyday facts, the choice of the managers office without mediations as the target upon which to direct the strength of the processions, the slogans at the centre of which stand the question of power, these indicate the level of consciousness of the Mirafiori vanguards; an unexpected degree of mass participation illustrates how this level of confrontation fulfils a mass political need; the active participation of many delegates who increasingly refuse union management of the confrontation and find themselves leading struggles for power alongside the autonomous and revolutionary vanguards.
Meanwhile in management, DAZZI (personnel director in Mechanical) and his right hand, Dionisio, show that Fiat has now decided for a frontal confrontation with the workers; Dionisio states that the promise made yesterday to pay 100% of the hours of forced leave was extorted by force and plays the blame game with Annibaldi and the top executives of Fiat; to this end he proposes the continuation of discussion in AMMA in exchange for a return to work: management is ready to discuss everything but outside of the factory and far from the workers. This morning in particular the managers who have understood exactly what happened to their colleague in Rivalta are in a state of fear. Dionisio’s proposal is however accepted as a major concession by the delegation. The autonomous leadership capacity of the struggle has made a major leap, but the firefighters of the flame of struggle, the delegates of the “deal” still have a certain weight and are able to prevail.
However a major victory is won on the mobility front: fifty transfers ordered yesterday from Mechanical to Bodywork are immediately revoked!
Around noon the siege of the employee building is lifted and work resumes. The current struggle is not a spontaneous explosion but an expression of a now consolidated level of consciousness and organization within the working class of Fiat.
In SPA Stura the struggle continues while experiencing a certain difficulty in generalizing due to a certain opposition from the delegates of the three unions. Those of UIL in particular carry out a real sabotage of the struggle. Lotta Continua attacks one of these, first in a brochure than in a newspaper: an individual named NARDI who is supported by a group of UIL delegates he has organized.
The continuation of the struggle after the enormous processions of recent days is now constant. In different work processes of Mirafiori Mechanical there are one hour strikes today as well; in shops 81, 82 and 83 four hundred workers wage a two hour strike for the fourth level and equalization of wages; the entry into the struggle of the workers who assemble transmissions in shops 73, 74 and 75 also comes to be decisive for the coming week.
The 71 and 72 shops hold an assembly for an hour and a half in which the debate is centred on how to organize the struggle to respond to the attacks of enterprise management; there is also harsh condemnation of a communique from Fiat (a large green poster) which management has put up everywhere possible in the factory. We reproduce some extracts to give an idea of the climate prevailing in Fiat. The communique begins like this: “Incidents of intimidation and violence, even injury to persons, have occurred in recent times against executives and managers” and after having spoken of FOSSAT, it continues: “in the course of a strike…the Director (Dionisio. Ed note) was forced by some hooligans (more than 2000 workers) who broke into the management offices to accept demands related to issues which were being discussed with the union organizations.”
Fiat shows its fear facing this situation but also its will to position itself for a frontal confrontation against that movement which even the union is no longer able to control. It does not seem difficult to grasp what Fiat’s future moves will be in both the short and the long term. A more careful consideration of this last point will be made in any case.
In shop 67 (Press) the Fiat posters are pasted up by two men from SIDA who are…
But many of these posters don’t remain in place for long as they are immediately torn down by comrades and workers. Meanwhile the debate on the armed action against Fossat develops.
The enthusiasm, the general consensus and the anger against the union for the one hour strike called at Rivalta are clear for all to see. But the new and more favourable situation is that this level of confrontation is now understood and accepted on a mass level; the major electoral victory of the left, the victorious struggles of recent days make the attack against the command structure carried out by the armed unit legitimate in the consciousness of all comrades including many in the PCI.
But most of all, in recent times there has occurred a major political maturation of the vanguard, which now identifies the attack on bosses, executives and fascists…as an area of confrontation to practice and generalize.
Attempts to organize on this terrain have already occurred, obviously aside from that vanguard unit which operated excellently at Rivalta. In shop 76 of Mirafiori Mechanical, for example, some weeks ago an autonomous vanguard group disseminated a poster which denounced two bosses in a semi-clandestine way.
Another aspect of the situation is illustrated by a worker newsletter issued some days ago which proposes the objective of “denouncing by name and exposing those responsible for the bosses policy, identifying them in their sites of provocation and pointing them out to all the workers” and inviting all workers to act on this terrain.
Fiat does not cease its attack on the struggle and seeing that it is unable to come out on top in Mechanical it shifts retaliation to Bodywork: on the 20th the assembly and painting workers for the 132 are put on forced leave. The workers briefly form a small procession but than they leave.
The difference in worker attitude facing Fiat’s provocations, between Mechanical and Bodywork is a function of the lack of initiative in this section, which was always the most combative and “explosive” at contract times. The working class at Mirafiori Bodywork shows an incapacity to exit from spontaneity and construct a stable autonomous organization.
In such a situation the liquidators of the struggle, the supporters of the “social pact” find a happy hunting ground, they do nothing to advance the struggle in Bodywork and avoid even speaking of the struggle developing in Mechanical, making agreements on mobility with management while hardly informing the workers.
This morning in SPA, there are two hours of strikes in all of Mechanical with massive participation, a small procession goes through the shops to chase the scabs. A decision is made for pickets at the gates evening and tomorrow, coinciding with the night shift strike in Mechanical and to prevent Saturday overtime as this is being insistently demanded by the bosses in significant quantities.
Meanwhile Fiat launches a new model on the market, the 128/3P which goes for more then two million and a half. This illustrates the production orientation of Fiat in the Italian auto sector.
In the factory negotiations complementing those in Rome, in which the Vice Director of the Turin Industrial Union Aldo Baro participates alongside top Fiat executives, the three secretaries of the FLM repeat their willingness to march on the path of restructuring and the Fiat executives declare their partial acceptance of “job enrichment and rotation”. It is hardly worth repeating what is meant by job diversification and mobility in the shop. This is all that remains of so much smoke and mirrors on the “new organization of labour” seeing that now the assembly islands (Fiat has reiterated its refusal to engage on this issue) have dissolved like snow in the sun.
The unions have not declared strike hours today but the struggle continues regardless: two hour strikes occur in shop 65 and 67 of Mirafiori Press, in Bodywork and Press at Rivalta and in Press at Lingotto. At SPA the situation is boiling: today almost all the shops go on strike for three hours.
Around two in the morning a package bomb explodes in the courtyard of the home of GIACOMO FARINETTI, the shop chief of Fiat Rivalta.
It is the feast of the patron saint in Turin. In the different sections of Fiat pickets against overtime are not organized.
The negotiations move from Rome to AMMA in Turin.
Here, Fiat sets as the first point of discussion, the demand to transfer 1580 workers from the mechanical shops of Mirafiori, Rivalta and Lingotto to the bodywork shops of the same facilities.
Stoppages continue in the factory, the union declares two hours of strike in Mechanical but the forklift drivers implement three. In the testing area there is an assembly of two shifts: the unions again claim a link between level transfer and professionality.
In Press, the FLM declares two hours of strike for shops 67, 65, 63, 61 and auxiliary. But aside from shop 65 where it has good results, the strike turns out poorly. Few workers participate.
This situation demands reflection from the vanguards on the condition and needs of the movement. Many factors contribute to the poor results of the strike in Press: mainly a lack of clarity on its objectives, partly due to the union which continues to oppose the worker demand of 3rd level for all with a discourse linking category change to professionality, stubbornly searching for professional areas where they no longer exist, eliminated by restructuring.
Press is actually one of the sections most seriously hit by internal restructuring which aside from manifesting in a feverish mobility, also sees the introduction of super automated machinery, which as well as inducing the collapse of any margin of professionality allows Fiat to increase production while decreasing manpower. Another reason for the poor results of the strike is the increasingly extensive refusal by the workers of the forms of struggle utilized up to now, namely the two hour strikes called two or three times a week.
The “drop by drop” strikes (as they are termed) are considered useless and it becomes increasingly necessary to transition to more powerful forms of struggle: the calls to struggle from SPA and Mechanical located there are frequent. But the unfortunate reality is that the weakness of autonomous worker organization in Press is such that it is not able to grasp and reinvigorate this really existing worker pressure in the shop, which results as a consequence in the emergence of a situation in which the refusal of “useless” forms of struggle is not accompanied by the development of forms of struggle which are better able to fulfil the political needs of the movement. The passivity and absence of the union delegates is certainly not helpful in the resolution of this situation. In shop 65 (large presses) thanks to a strong autonomous organization which was built and reinforced step by step since the struggles of 73’ it is possible to overcome this situation and the struggle develops as we will see, while in the other shops (61, 63 and 67) the struggle develops in a much more contained way.
In SPA the situation already at boiling point in previous days is ready to explode. Here also “drop by drop” struggle is less and less acceptable and participation is low in the two hours of strike declared by the union for Mechanical. But here as well the minimal success of the strike is no sign that the class in SPA are scabs and proof of this is not long in coming.
Discontent moves into a generalization and hardening of the struggle: the night shift workers who entered yesterday evening impose a blockade of the gates. It is like a spark which ignites a field of grain. The morning shift workers immediately take the positions of their night shift comrades: patrols are organized in the factory to expel the handful of scabs, bosses and employees who are tracked down one by one. It is an extremely hard blockade, even harder than the one in 1973; the only workers allowed to enter are those seeking to reinforce the blockade; no entrance is allowed on business; long lines of trucks with deliveries form in the streets.
The blockade remains throughout the morning despite the frantic efforts of the unionists to demobilize everyone. The firefighting of the revisionists, those liquidators is fruitless and the factory remains completely in the hands of the workers. The red flags at the gates as a mark of proletarian power, the sharpness of the struggle, the increasingly numerous and combative pickets, an exemplary unity and cohesion form an important step and a major moment in the evolution of the class confrontation, not only in SPA but also throughout all sections of Fiat.
On second shift the workers who don’t stop for guard duty, immediately return home. Facing such unity and cohesion, the fascists, the provocateurs of SIDA can find no space for their crooked interventions and prefer to not even make a showing. The level of organization reached at SPA makes the first negative symptoms of the transfer policy known to Agnelli. Actually the greater part of the vanguards transferred from Mirafiori have been ordered to SPA, certainly with the result of disarticulating the struggle in Mirafiori, but while promoting a new situation of struggle.
Confronting this situation, Fiat announces the suspension of negotiations, showing itself willing to reopen them in exchange for a return within the traditional confines of the struggle. But this is a blackmail manoeuvre only for the unionists and not the workers who continue to implement their blockade of the gates with the maximum resolution.
Seeing the uselessness of this manoeuvre, Fiat tries another strategy in the afternoon, that of reopening the negotiations and attempting to reach an agreement with the unions as rapidly as possible. This proposal certainly does not encounter reluctance from the reformists, who are also interested in reestablishing control over the working class in SPA, they accept it with good graces and immediately provide Fiat with proof of their sincerity: around 5 they are able to disperse the pickets, those thorns in the sides of the supporters of social peace. However the factory remains just as blocked: lines stopped, lights out, no work.
Here one can’t bemoan the weakness of the revolutionary vanguards who abandoned the pickets under unionist pressure: one can only say that autonomous organization as SPA Stura is very young and thus organizationally and above all politically weak. The struggle of this period makes a notable contribution to its growth.
Around eleven in the evening the gates are crowded again by the arrival of the night shift who had started the blockade and the watch resumes. The situation is still good at Mirafiori Mechanical and in Press, despite the minimal results of yesterdays strike, the situation is in recovery; different stoppages occur in various work processes in these two sections with substantial participation. In the testing area the strike goes on for eight hours.
Fiat continues to make its authority felt through the use of forced leave orders: this time it is Bodywork and Mechanical which are struck.
Unlike last time in Bodywork there is no lack of a response: in Mechanical a procession of around 400 workers forms immediately and goes to the employee building to demand payment for the forced leave.
The morning edition of La Stampa laments the “975 department level strikes involving small groups of workers and for limited periods of 15 minutes to an hour which have occurred in Fiat over the past two months”. Alongside this expression of concern over the existing situation in Fiat, La Stampa reports the ominous words of Agnelli in Venice on the upcoming contracts: here the Lawyer decisively asserts that every union negotiation will be conditioned by the problem of greater productivity and flexibility of the labour force: he further states that there does not exist and cannot exist, any openness to an improvement of wages and norms in the absence of an upswing in the increase of productivity on all levels. It is with this declaration of war that the bosses take a position in relation to the contract season and the union must promptly make a response.
At SPA the blockade of the gates continues until 6 in the morning at which point the unionists arrive at the gates and announced that they have reached a draft agreement with Fiat. They advise the workers to enter the factory through megaphones; the biggest concern of the unionists is less the words in the draft agreement and more the resumption of work and the normalization of the situation. Thus the blockade is ended to the great relief of both Agnelli and the reformists. But this does not happen painlessly: in front of some doors there is an assembly outside the gates and in many cases the confrontations between unionists and comrades are not only verbal. In the assemblies which later occur within the factories, despite the limited number participating, there is a hard clash between the autonomous vanguards and the unionists, the latter supported by the PCI delegates. Many contradictions open within the union structure itself: many union delegates and some staff don’t feel inclined to defend the agreement. But the unionists to refute the criticisms and the proposals for continuing the struggle, go so far as to say that the agreement has already been definitively signed, and nothing more can be done, while in fact only a draft understanding has been signed.
In the afternoon, the small engine assembly workers attempt a strike against the agreement, but organizational weakness works against them.
We are not interested in criticizing specific points of the agreement; this we leave to those who situate themselves to the “left” of the union, but always from a platformist position. The signing of the agreement at SPA is political and it is to the political terrain that the vanguard must now turn its reflections. We will not dwell further on this point now but return to it later.
The struggle at SPA has concluded, but the bosses and the union are not able to nullify the propulsive influence of that struggle on the other sections of Fiat and above all on Mirafiori. In that section, the struggle actually experiences important developments. In Bodywork after a long period of stagnation and lack of initiative, the struggle resumes, the first shift strikes one hour, demanding third level for the workers who oil machines. The strike completely backs up and blocks production; the parking lots are full and engine assembly shuts for two hours. It is a major blow for Fiat, so much so that the personnel director goes down to the departments to demand a return to work. On the second shift work stops in cabin acoustic insulation for two hours.
In Mechanical the struggle continues with two hours of stoppage in different work processes. The sectoral council meets in Press. What the unionists most want to emphasize on the question of objectives is always the recognition of professional areas in transition between categories; as for the organization of struggle they tend to maintain their lack of initiative.
Many delegates on the other hand press for a sharpening and generalization of struggle; the meeting is closed without precise proposals or programs. At seven, during the dinner break an assembly is held in the cafeteria.
The workers of shop 65 (large press) respond to the unionist intention of liquidating the struggle, declaring a strike till the end of the shift; they immediately form a hard and combative picket of around 300 workers, which circles through the other shops attempting to draw them into the struggle.
But in shops 67 and 63 only the vanguards adhere to the procession, while the rest of the workers strike unenthusiastically for only two hours. After traversing the shop the procession goes immediately to block the gates. It is the second time in the space of two months that Press mans the barricades (the last time the gates were blocked in opposition to forced leave). The blockade continues until the end of the shift, when it is handed off to the night shift workers who enter only to collect their pay checks, then making a cohesive exit and also extending the struggle to Auxiliary.
In shop 68 (bodywork) a comrade is terminated for “absenteeism”. The team immediately strikes for two hours. The termination letter is signed by the director MILLO.
In the morning shops 67 and 63 remain stopped until 7 to discuss the continuation of the struggle. Shop 65 announces continuation of the strike till the end of the shift and another eight hours on the second shift; the other shops however declare only two hour strikes.
In 65 support for the strike is total and could not be otherwise; a hard and combative procession of 300 comrades circles the shop; the song “Bandiera Rossa” and the slogans “the time is now, power to those who work” and “workers must have the power” ceaselessly echo in the departments; the factory council banner which is usually carried on processions, is abandoned and replaced with a better one which was found inside the union offices and declares “No to fascism”. The procession circles until 9, while, as is usual, units of comrades patrol to ensure nobody is working on the line.
During the procession some comrades sabotage the electrical connections of some of the presses.
In 67, the two hours of strike declared in the morning receive minimal participation: the situation created in the days before lingers, and once again the firefighting and inaction of the delegates of the “social pact” triumphs in the weakness of the movement.
On the second shift, as scheduled, 65 doesn’t even start work, and continues till the end of the shift with the organization of a procession which circles the shop. The night shift does the same.
The strike to the limit in shop 65 already puts Fiat in difficulty, absence of parts forces a slowdown by half on the bodywork lines: this time in a terror that the struggle could generalize in bodywork as well, Fiat prefers to reduce speed on the line instead of ordering workers home:
In Mechanical many departments are blocked by an hour long strike. The criticism of these one or two hour strikes becomes increasingly explicit; precisely because of this the strike sees a slight decline in participation in some departments. In the auxiliary shop of Mechanical 2 a procession of around a 100 comrades moves to the employee building with the sole intention of hardening the confrontation.
In Bodywork the connected shops meet in assembly. From the speeches and comments of the workers a certain ferment towards relaunching the struggle is clear. The unionists claim that the struggle in Press has deflated: it is real sabotage because they don’t even want to advertise the development of the struggle in Press, as was already done with the struggle in Mechanical for fear of the contagion infecting Bodywork.
Shop 65 carries out the strike to the limit with a tremendous firmness and cohesion. The first shift forms a procession which wanders the shops seeking to involve the 63. Then it targets the management offices, as now happens in all sections of Fiat.
Around 9 the negotiations in the employee building resume and the procession supports the delegation outside the management offices: having arrived they pause to stand guard until noon, the hour in which the delegation returns. In this negotiation Fiat shows its willingness for a frontal clash: it either simply refuses the points of the platform or makes completely provocative concessions. Moreover Fiat sets the stage for such a confrontation with sinister manoeuvres; the last of these in chronological order is the transfer of a large quantity of stamps from the lines in shop 65 and sheet metal, with the objective of ensuring production elsewhere, in order to hold firm in the confrontation with the shop 65 struggle.
The manoeuvre starts at 8 in the morning on a huge scale: it is a matter of eighty loaded trucks. Other divisive manoeuvres are attempted in shop 67 where management concedes some categories under the table through individual negotiations.
The first shift strikes continues till the end of the shift; and the second shift organizes a procession immediately after it enters. Around 4 Fiat’s manoeuvres encounter a hard response. The procession after having traversed the shops goes to guard gate 14 to block the exit of the trucks carrying stamps. The unionists immediately seek to end the blockade waving the bogyman of a possible breakdown in the negotiations. But such blackmail has no weight: the matter at hand is power not negotiation!
The blockade continues with active participation on the mass level: no truck is able to exit. Management than seeks to reroute trucks out of a gate not directly subjected to worker’s control. But the vigilance of the workers leaves little time for this gambit and news of what is happening arrives immediately at the picket on gate 14.
Here, without any need for directions, a large group of workers departs and goes to block this new point as well; this time it is not a normal picket which is assembled, but a full scale barricade within the factory with crates, boxes, axes and anything which serves the purpose.
The barricade is controlled and a passage is opened for cars, ambulances etc but no trucks are allowed to pass through. The most significant part of this incident is that its realization is not the result of precise instructions from the vanguards which have led the struggle since the beginning, but the product of the creativity of a strata of vanguards of struggle which have emerged in the course of the struggle itself. Meanwhile during the blockade some comrades organize and sabotage finished goods “fixing” some delivery ready 131s with spikes.
Meanwhile there is great concern in AMMA where Fiat and the unions are busily seeking to finalize an agreement which normalizes the situation and reserves the problem of the “swarm of disputes”.
But Fiat also continues the attack within the factory: At 9 forced leave is announced for bodywork and in shop 65 a group of scabs is scraped together and sent onto the line over the nightshift.
In Rivalta the first shift workers in Bodywork strike for two hours and organize a procession of 200 workers which marches through the shop. On the second shift another procession leaves from bodywork and painting and after having traversed many shops, leaves the factory and goes in front of the employee building where an assembly is held. The 200 than reform the procession and arrive at Coachwork which also goes on strike.
The unions declare two hours of strike at Fiat over the transport sector dispute. In shop 65 the strike is prolonged for six hours. In bodywork the struggle which began on the 30th now has an explosive development: the second shift, which wants to respond to the forced leave orders of yesterday evening, doesn’t even start working, a procession of around 2000 workers forms from coachwork and assembly and exiting the factory arrives at the employee building on Agnelli St where an assembly is held. Than the procession reenters the factory and continues the strike till the end of the shift.
At Rivalta 2000 workers in assembly prolong the two hour strike in opposition to the termination of a comrade.
In Amma in the afternoon a draft agreement is signed between Fiat and the FLM.
In shop 65 the struggle continues regardless. On the second shift the workers work until 8, then resume the strike till the end of the shift going to block gates 15, 16 and 17 to prevent entry by the night shift, because yesterday evening there were problems with scabs.
Over the next week there are high points of struggle; in the Press sectoral council, the confrontation between the autonomous vanguards and the supporters of the agreement almost becomes physical on many occasions; but now the dispute is closed, albeit through surprise attack, and because the holidays are approaching, worker willingness to advance the struggle lessens; we also think that on the mass level, despite everything there was always a need to conclude the struggle. What is important now is that the vanguards of Fiat reflect on the political content which the struggle was capable of expressing, and on the political meaning of the agreement which intends to decree the closure of the struggle and reestablish social peace at Fiat, their tasks and the proposals the vanguards are preparing to handle the new stage of struggle which opens in September, in the contractual period.
The signing of the agreement between Fiat and the FLM has an expressly political character and expresses the shared need of the bosses and the unions to restablish the control over the movement which has now been completely lost. This can be seen from observing how the struggle has always been predominant and in some moments alone (like the struggle of shop 65), for the whole course of the struggle since the formulation of the platforms.
The objectives of the autonomous platforms tend to attack the process of restructuring, because they aim to cut the power of the chiefs and eliminate the instruments of division imposed by the bosses like bonuses, linkage of category changes to professionality etc…and to defend worker organization in the factory with the refusal of mobility, the reduction of exploitation with the reduction of the break, and the elimination of the third shift where this exists.
Around these objectives, which are already antagonistic to the union positions, the struggle develops into a growing turbulence not so much around the specific objectives of the platform, rather expressing all its class antagonism on the terrain of the relations of force. The struggle is therefore not only a means to obtain material objectives, rather it becomes a means whereby the workers exercise their power in the factory. When we said that the question was not the platform but power that is exactly what we meant.
It is enough to consider the struggle in Mirafiori Mechanical and to the one, last in chronological order, waged by Bodywork against forced leave, this political tool which Fiat has used for years, beyond any techno-productive justification to directly the autonomous struggles; a struggle which has developed with the massive processions to the employee building, the mass delegations to management, the trials against Personnel Director Dionisio. One can also consider the blockade of the gates of door 14 of Mirafiori and the barricade within the factory to prevent the exit of the trucks with the presses, to obstruct another manoeuvre by which Fiat intended to directly attack the struggle. Furthermore the slogans which have been raised in the processions all through this period centre the question of power alone and unadorned; the red flags raised over the gates of Mirafiori and SPA Stura, like that raised within the factory the day after the elections, testify to proletarian power.
Aside from the above, many other facts and even more the debate developed on the wounding of Fossat and on the operation against the personnel of SIDA and Fiat executives carried out by the Red Brigades the past May 15th (see brochure) and the moment of organization developed around such directives, illustrate the political levels reached by the working class of Fiat in the recent months of struggle and the demand for power of the class movement.
The union or better put the unionist “left” which at the beginning gave a certain impetus to the struggle, is immediately located outside of it when the objectives of the platforms are formulated. And outside, with its capacity for control ever decreasing, it remains through the whole course of the struggle, which in its development generates ever increasing contradictions within its own rank and file structures, such that many delegates and even union staffers increasingly refuse the line of a “social pact” with the bosses and “comanagement” of the crisis and find themselves ever more often alongside the autonomous and revolutionary vanguards in the struggles for power.
With the signing of the agreement the unions have given further proof of their willingness to continue on the path which began on November 30th last year, because aside from having managed to suddenly block the struggle with a surprise blow, they have distorted the political significance of its objectives, channeling it within the limits of a policy for the comanagement of restructuring by the big monopolies completely to the advantage of the latter. In fact it ensures mobility in the factories, the transfers between different facilities (which means nothing other than more or less selective and uncontrolled terminations), while giving more power to the bosses (bonuses are allowed, category changes always decided by the bosses, just like transfers etc…) favouring the consolidation of the structure of power within the factory.
The meaning of the agreement at Fiat con be better understood if it is contextualized in terms of the theses issued by the union meetings in Ariccia and Bologna. The union strategy for the Autumn of imposing the contracts with a general struggle for employment and a new course of economic development, starts from the incontestable reality that the union confederations, as we have already said, have accepted the restructuring policy of the multinationals; have accepted the corporative role which these economic groups have assigned them in the project of constructing the Imperialist State of the Multinationals.
It is an absurdity to propose a general struggle for employment, while continually capitulating on the issue of restructuring in the factory, in a period in which the expansion of the productive base and the accumulation of capital are in stark contradiction, because the restriction of the productive base is a condition for the accumulation of capital. Put simply, where the struggle for employment actually prevails the capitalist crisis is sure to aggravate, at least in the context of the crisis of capitalism.
Behind the discourse of the confederations the necessity of supporting a resumption of productivity, and not employment shines through.
The Fiat agreement is one example, but the struggle of the “auxiliary auto” sector is another, where the intransigent struggle against layoffs and closure of small factories is ended in order to transfer everything into a general sectoral litigation which has no power to defend employment.
The struggle for employment as defined by the union, must eliminate every area which could become a terrain for the POLITICAL CONFRONTATION.
“We must avoid a dramatization and a politicization of the contractual conflict” as Marienetti said at Ariccia.
How is the party of Mirafiori preparing and with what political proposals to meet the new stage of the confrontation which begins in September?
One part of the vanguards continues to propose the reduction of the work week to 35 hours with no pay cut. We maintain that such an approach is a clear loser because it still hinges on platformist positions which means it is absolutely insufficient to satisfy the political needs expressed by the working class of Fiat in recent months of struggle. It is a position with no way forward and can lead nowhere other than an alliance with the right wing of the movement. It is a proposal which must be refused and justly criticized.
A more restricted spectrum of vanguard elements is instead organized on the terrain of armed confrontation for power and has already dealt hard blows to Fiat’s command structure. We give all our political support to the activity of these comrades, albeit with a necessary dialogue aiming to better clarify the proposals and more general line of intervention of these vanguards.
The central point of the program remains the attack on the political project which we have summarized in the phrase “Corporative Pact”, a political project to a great extent accomplished thanks to the accommodating stance of the union confederations, but which finds its consolidation in ever increasing difficulty because of the increasingly forceful development of the class struggle and the armed struggle within the factories.
Attack the “Corporative Pact”, advancing the attack on and disarticulation of the transmission belt of this project which has its real political brain in Confindustria. Attack and strike the politico-military command structure and specifically the executives, the managers, the cops; also attack the yellow unions as organizational centres of reaction and of the propagation of corporative ideology. On this latter terrain, the action carried out against SIDA has produced optimal results. In the most recent period the attack on the command structure of the Turin factories is carried out against executives, bosses and SIDA personnel chosen simply because they are hated enemies of the working class, or because they are responsible for anti-worker manoeuvres. In the future it will be necessary to more fundamentally disarticulate this structure, highlighting its organizational structures, its modes of operation, its links with the political centres of reaction and with the more general plan.
The problem of the fascists must also be included within this discourse, even if within Fiat up till now they have been limited to sporadic wall posting of anti-communist statements organized more or less in secret, there is no doubt they will reappear in September and in a way certainly different from how they appeared two years ago: a problem to reconsider in its full gravity.
With the development and intensification of the autonomous movements of struggle against the aspects of restructuring, now more than ever we can say that it is not sufficient to put the “Corporative Pact” in serious crisis; these levels of confrontation are also important, because if they are well directed, they can undermine the control capacity of the unions and keep the struggle on the political terrain. This what we were able to verify in the latest phase of the confrontation at Fiat.
Another problem which we must resolve is that of the capacity to translate the political levels expressed by the working class into organization. We do not mean by this organize the workers political committees as some in Turin assert, or as others say they think, organize armed workers squads during the struggles, rather we mean construct and strengthen the clandestine combat organizations on the fronts of factory struggle, which are able to become increasingly effective interpreters of the political needs which the working class, or better its most advanced strata are expressing.
All Power to the Armed People!
 A nickname for G.Agnelli.
 Tonino Miccichè, Fiat worker, leader of Lotta Continua and of the Committee for Housing (Comitato per la casa) in the Falchera neighbourhood of Turin. Shot dead on April 17th by the security guard Paolo Fiocco. His death results in almost two days of street clashes with two killed by police and the destruction of the offices of the MSI.
 Associazione Metallurgici Meccanici e Affini. Industry association founded in 1919.