“No ships carrying weapons or war material destined for the Gulf will sail from the Italian ports,” says Guido Abbadessa, Filt-Cgil general secretary, the biggest transport union in Italy. (La Stampa, 22-02-2002) The Italian government has allowed the US army to pass through Italy on its way to the Gulf.
“Do the weapons which have just arrived in Livorno from Vicenza have to go to Turkey? The Filt-Cgil has taken the decision that dockers from Livorno, or elsewhere in Italy, will boycott the transport of weapons, using strike action if necessary.”
“Will you really be able to stop the war operations?” asks the journalist.
“I’m absolutely certain. 87 per cent of Italian dockers are members of our union. I believe there is someone in the government who wants to show their zeal towards the United States without enough thought.”
The President of the National Dockers Companies Association, Roberto Piccini from Livorno, also backed this stand. “If they want to use the trading wharfs, we are refusing to work. Moreover, we will keep an eye on the wharfs to ensure they are free of any military cargo. Every single docker in Italy will back this position.” (Il Manifesto, 23-02-2002)
The Filt-Cgil leadership is definitely one of the most rightwing in Italy. For them to issue this statement, shows there must be a considerable pressure from below. After the two-million-strong demonstration in Rome ten days ago, militancy is on the increase. The metal workers’ union, Fiom-Cgil, has already stated that they will call a general strike of the whole sector the day the war starts.
We agree with what the Filt-Cgil secretary says: Berlusconi had better think twice if he wants to go on supporting Bush and Blair!