Italy: Demonstrating metal workers demand better post-COVID working conditions

Three of Italy's largest metalworkers' unions called for a massive joint demonstration at Rome's iconic Piazza del Popolo on Thursday, where workers demanded a drastic improvement in their working conditions as the country begins to recover from the coronavirus crisis. Unions FIM (Federation of Italian Metal Mechanics), FIOM (Italian Federation of Metal Workers) and UILM (Union of Italian Metal Mechanics Workers) gathered hundreds of their representatives to bemoan, among other issues, the more than 100 official working condition-related disputes that have been open for two years now, but none of which were resolved by the government. «You cannot think of leaving the COVID emergency while leaving unresolved old crises that have not been resolved as well as the new crises produced by this emergency. We must restart by focusing on work,» demanded FIOM General secretary Francesca Re David. Workers were outspoken about the government's lack of protection for those employed by companies struggling to cope with the coronavirus outbreak. «Workers and citizens can't be the ones who have to pay every time. Workers are on layoff and their salary is only 700 euros ($784) per month. Many other workers aren't even getting that. If the Italian government intends on continuing to do nothing, we won't stand for it,» said protester Giovanni Testa.

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