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Friday, Dec. 14, 2007 at 10:27 PM
During the night of Thursday December 6 the latest in a tragic series of "industrial accidents" struck 7 proletarian families at the Thyssen Krupp steel-works of Turin (Italy): 7 workers were overcome and charred by flames in a section where metal castings are cooled by an oil bath. Antonio Schiavone, 36 years old, married and father of 3 children was incinerated immediately, while 3 other workers, after suffering critical burns, died a few days later.
Enough with Industrial Accidents! Enough with Legal Assassinations!
Thyssen Krupp had decided to close its steel-works in Turin as of June 2008, but the thirst for capitalist profit is never quenched: the exploitation of the equipment and the workmen must continue until the very end. Work there is carried on around the clock, in three shifts. Moreover, to respond to demand, the owners force the personnel to work overtime. The dead or seriously injured workers on December 6 had already completed their regular shift of 8 hours and were working 4 hours overtime, all this at night, to boot. 12 consecutive hours in total and under the most extenuating circumstances! And anyone who refused overtime was immediately laid off! 200 workers were supposed to carry out the volume of production formerly realized by 380, and in much less time!
Blackmail on the job is the rule for the capitalists who exploit workers and equipment to the maximum; this is why the maintenance of machinery (and consequently the protection and the health of the women and the men who operate them) always leaves much to be desired, when it is not completely absent. All "industrial accidents" regularly reveal that they are caused by insufficient safety systems and the slipshod maintenance of machinery (for reasons of cost!), not to mention the generally terrible terms of employment.
It is the rule that confronted with the hundreds of victims of "industrial accidents" which signify the capitalist race for profit, there is wall of silence which speaks eloquently on behalf of the media and the authorities; and as to the responsibility of the companies, Justice answers with whitewash or interminable inquiries. But when confronted with "accidents" due to particularly disastrous working conditions, the major political or institutional leaders understand that it is sometimes necessary to calm the incensed masses of mourners by making statements showing their concern for the health and safety of the workers: "safety at work is our priority!", " laws must be respected!" "safety controls already in place must be reinforced!" in order to finish with the usual admonition: "the workers should pay more attention!"
It is not the methods of the trade unionist class-collaborationists or official organizations which will oblige the capitalists to apply safety measures at work, to carry out the regular maintenance of machines and equipment. The only solution is the real struggle because we should not only fight for wages, but also fight to save our lives! We cannot count on the bureaus, commissions and institutions responsible for safety which have never produced any improvement in the working conditions of proletarians. Industrial accidents and deaths increase year by year. It is a veritable war, as admitted by even the bourgeois pen prostitutes.
The workers who do not shrink from working 12 hours per day, in very high heat, subject to inhuman physical or nervous efforts, and who "are left there to rot" day after day, must open their eyes to an exploitation which has as its consequence only the alternative of killing themselves from work or to starve to death from lack of work! The capitalist pressure is even stronger when the workers are divided and disorientated among themselves. This pressure of the capitalists on wages and employment, supported by agreements signed by the class-collaborationist trade unions concerning overtime, flexibility, job security, layoffs etc., is more severe especially since the workers continue to delegate to these same class-collaborationist trade unions the defense of their living and working conditions
Working Men and Working Women, Let’s revolt!
It is intolerable to continue to starve or to become invalids to fatten the capitalists! It is necessary to take back our own struggles in hand, to organize assemblies to discuss exclusively the defense of the workers’ living and working conditions! With the advent of each industrial accident, immediately strike until the causes of the accident have been resolved! And if a worker is killed on the job, then a general strike! When a worker is killed through the fault of the capitalists, all the capitalists are responsible; we should strike a blow at them all!
International Communist Party, December 8, 2007
(Supplement of Il Comunista n°105)
Correspondence: Editions Programme, 3 rue Basse Combalot, 69007 Lyon FRANCE
Link to a video of the demonstration in Turin. The father of one of the workers killed is shouting at the microphone to the bosses: “bastards!” “murderers!” “you will pay everything” “you, too, will burn!”
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