Around 100 workers at the Granarolo warehouse in Bologna have been protesting for eight months, demanding better working conditions, better wages, the repeal of Bossi-Fini law and the reinstatement of 51 colleagues who were fired in reprisal for their involvement in strikes and protests.
On January 23, after four days of picketing, around a hundred of them organized by the base union SI COBAS together with other logistics workers, activists from local radical organizations and social centers, blockaded the road connecting the warehouse to the city and the national highway network. The police responded with violence, punching them, using clubs and also using pepper spray (illegal in Italy and not an official part of a police officer’s equipment). Two workers from other logistics companies, present to show solidarity with the protest, were arrested.
The Granarolo workers said that their working conditions are very poor and they receive wages of only 700 euros a month, while the companies they serve – through an intricate network of cooperatives and subcontracts – are linked to the centre-left political forces that claim to have brought wealth to Bologna and Emilia Romagna. The threat of blackmail linked to the connection between jobs and permits of stay is also held over their heads. The Bossi-Fini law says that migrants must have a job in order to get a permit of stay. And without that, they can be arrested, shut up in a CIE and then sent back to their country of origin, even if their entire life is now in Italy. The potential of such blackmail makes each and every struggle much more difficult and risky for those people who take part.
These videos show the violent behavior of the police.