Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Clashes in Italian ports over job cuts May 25 2011

Italian portworkers have clashed with police in a number of protests
following the announcement of sweeping job cuts.

The job cuts constitute part of the Burlusconi government's latest round
of austerity measures. The state owned shipbuilder, Fincantieri, is
imposing job cuts and changes to terms and conditions that will affect
around a third of its employees - two and a half thousand workers.

These include forced early retirement, reduced hours and job moves. The
portworkers union have reported that this will result in the closure of
the historic shipyards at Sestri and Castellammare.

In response, portworkers have staged angry protests at a number of
locations, which have resulted in clashes with management and police:

- Workers clashed with riot police outside government offices in Sestri, a
northwestern suburb of Genoa. The protesters demanded to see the prime

- At Castellammare di Stabia, near Naples, workers blockaded officials
including the mayor and police chief in their offices overnight. According
to the local press, the building was damaged by demonstrators, who also
decapitated a nearby statue of Garibaldi, the Italian nationalist icon.

- Fincantieri portworkers also blockaded a highway near Sorrento in Campania.

The company has so far stated that the offered changes are "take it or
leave it". Negotiations are scheduled with unions for the 3rd of June,

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