After the two big earthquakes that have hit Emilia over the past two weeks, local businesses have already begun to put the shock economy system in to practice. That is when people in charge of a company (or a state) take advantage of a trauma suffered by the population to impose their decisions.
Emilia is one of the most rich and productive regions of Italy, but this has not spared its inhabitants from the economic crisis and the consequent deindustrialization. And now, with thousands of people living in camps, many of them crying over their losses, some factory owners are trying to move their plants to more profitable places. “We can’t stop production and here we don’t have enough guarantees”: this is what 500 workers have heard from their employer Magneti Marelli, part of the FIAT group. The machinery was already dismantled and packed when workers started a blockade in front of the factory gates. They
were soon joined by FIOM Union Secretary Maurizio Landini. And when the workers in Marelli’s factory in Bari started to mobilize, too, Fiat had to renege on its decision.
The story of another factory, the wood field company Curved Plywoods, is even more shameful. Following the earthquake, the ownership told workers not to return to work until all security checks had been carried out. In the meantime, however, they were not checking the safety of the factory at all; instead, they were moving all their machinery to Romania. When the workers became aware of the “blitz”, they physic
ally blocked the exit to the tracks with their cars.
Sadly, there is no good news for the people of Emilia. According to geologists, the seismic fault could continue to be active for months or even years. As if that weren’t enough, they now have to guard their factory gates to stop the owners from running away.
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