Italcementi workers go on strike

Majority of the workers of Italcementi in Rezzato, Italy went on a four-hour strike last 15 April to protest the company management’s bad behavior towards its employees and largely, the deteriorating industrial relations in the company.

The workers stressed that a civil and respectful worker-employer relationship must be maintained at all times. Quoting Section 65 of the National Labour Agreement covering the industry, they said that superiors are always required to exercise their organizational functions by maintaining relationships characterised by respect for people, a sense of collaboration and urbanity.

The striking workers, members of the BWI-affiliated FILCA CISL and FILLEA CGIL, also underscored the need for the company to hold a discussion to urgently update its COVD-19 corporate health and safety protocols, to include the provisions of an inter-confederal agreement last 6 April and respond to the issues identified at the Rezzato factory. 

The workers said that it important to revisit the concept of “close contact” in the context of infection and for the company to conduct COVID-19 swab tests to workers who have had direct contact with infected people to prevent the spread of the virus at workplaces.

BWI gave its support to the striking workers saying that Italcementi must respect its workers by behaving in a positive way that promotes a culture of dialogue between trade unionists and the company management. It also called on the company to undertake all necessary measures to protect its workers from COVID-19.

Italcementi is an Italian multinational company which produces cement, ready-mix concrete and construction aggregates. In 2015, 45 percent of Italcementi was acquired by HeidelbergCement. The unions explained that issues on industrial relations and working conditions at the Rezzato plant began to emerge after the two companies’ official merger in 2016.