A demonstration that has been ready for some time: the former Gkn have accumulated anger and stress for 20 months since the factory was closed. And the salaries have not arrived for 6 months. 5,000 people in the square according to the police headquarters, while the organizers talk from megaphones of 15,000 participants.
The procession left from Novoli to arrive at the Fortezza da Basso. There was no tension along the streets, even if the procession stopped for a few tens of minutes because there was the intention to change route, take the main carriageway of Viale Strozzi instead of the road that goes around the Fortress.
For a few minutes some boys sang a few chants against the forces of order, but the organizers themselves prevented tension from rising to restore order in the procession which returned to its original route. There was no shortage of slogans against the premier but the most attacked was the owner of QF Francesco Borgomeo, who had taken over the Campi Bisenzio plant. Along the streets, the demonstrators threw some smoke bombs and some firecrackers.
In Piazza Dalmazia the procession stopped to remember the 2011 massacre, by the neo-fascist sympathizer Gianluca Casseri. A long speech was made by a representative of Anti-Fascist Florence. The trade union representatives of the former Gkn responded in particular to yesterday’s words by Made in Italy minister Adolfo Urso who said he was unable to act as long as the factory was occupied.
Dario Salvetti, former Gkn union official: “Today we are here because we have been without salary for 6 months. The wage freeze is a very dangerous precedent for all workers in this country. In our case it is a way to induce dismissal without declaring it. They keep us in liquidation, on a slow fire. Instead we have an industrial plan, we have shown that we have the ideas and projects to restart”.
Massimo Barbetti, factory collective: “Minister Urso’s statements yesterday seem to come from people who know nothing. Just the day before, a court ruling said that the establishment is perfectly viable. In fact, some workers are in the factory on rotation for maintenance and supervision. It is not clear what the minister is referring to with those phrases. I invite him to study well our dispute which has been going on for 20 months”.