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Proposal for a general strike of all workers for immigrant rights. 29 October 2010.


To all Italian working men and women,

the Delegates of RSU, RSA.

the Directors of the CGIL,

to the comrades and representatives of the independent local unions,

and to all immigrants in Italy:


We now understand the fight for the rights of immigrant workers is also the fight for the rights of Italian workers.

The bosses use the immigrant workforce as permanent blackmail to wipe out your rights, acquired through years of struggle and organization.

The current immigration laws are nothing more than rules made by the bosses to regulate the labor market however they want, where the "contratto di soggiorno" is nothing more than legalized blackmail.

The Turco-Napolitano law, the basis of subsequent Bossi-Fini law, began the series of blackmail laws that make living in Italy increasingly difficult, freezing wages, worsening working conditions and, of course, evading safety regulations and weakening rights.

This process has now come full circle with the "Pacchetto Sicurezza" that criminalizes undocumented workers.

The bosses do not want “security,” but “insecurity” for all Italian and immigrant workers. The bosses want to abolish workers’ rights and to move production abroad. The governments simply manage the economic interests of powerful capitalists.

The laws of the past two decades have destroyed pensions, social systems and contract negotiations. The “Co.co.co” contracts are only one of the ruling class’s innovations to end job security and dismantle the pension system.

Now the bill for capitalism’s global crisis must be paid. And they want us to pay it.


Italian workers and immigrants see that recent struggles have done nothing; no section of any protested laws have been changed, much less any decision of the government.

But this is because, until now, our struggles have not been united.

These divisions are gifts to the powerful capitalists and politicians who do everything possible to divide workers.

However, against these divisions, something has already been done and more will be done.

For example, the demands of the migrant workers associations, limited to a few themes, have been supported by the anti-racist organizations in a united struggle. On 17 October 2009, based on a shared platform, the CGIL and the independent local unions marched together with the immigrant associations.

In January of 2010 the immigrant laborers of Rosarno resisted the exploitation of the bosses, and of the Camorra, with dignity. Their struggle showed all of us how, in reality, unity and struggle against capital are instruments that are always within reach of the workers.

On March 1, 2010, the famous "day without immigrants," begun on Facebook, was likely to be just another colorful demonstration. Thanks to the joint participation of Italian immigrants and Italians, who united to demand rights for all, March 1 became a successful day of struggle, with factories shut down in Brescia, support strikes in dozens of cities and a consumers strike that left shops closed and children at home.


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We believe there are conditions for Italians and immigrants to fight together, and, and we do not think anyone really believes Berlusconi and Bossi’s nonsense about chasing away foreigners. We refuse to believe that. We are ready to fight for decent housing, employment, healthcare and education for all. TOGETHER, we are ready to demand a people’s amnesty on unpaid gas, electric and water bills, and for an amnesty for the fines on buses, trams and the Underground.

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WE ARE CALLING FOR A STRIKE OF ALL ITALIAN AND IMMIGRANT WORKERS FOR IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ON 29 OCTOBER 2010.

Of course, we know we cannot do this alone.

This open letter aims to make clear the urgency of our extremely serious condition in Italy, the suffering of our brothers and sisters who are still without Residence Permits, and the need to produce concrete results.


Therefore, we identify the following points as a platform of struggle:


1.- Residence Permits while looking for employment for those who filed requests in the "amnesty scam" as domestic workers and caregivers.


2.- Extension of Residence Permits for those who have lost their jobs, or no longer qualify for Residence Permits, due to the economic crisis.


3.- The implementation of Directive 2009/52/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 18 June 2009, granting Residence Permits for those who report employers paying workers off-the-books, or working conditions of super-exploitation.


4.- The creation of a law guaranteeing the right of asylum, based on Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 1 of the Geneva Convention on Refugees, annulling the practice of turning back immigrants on the high seas and the bilateral agreements of expulsion.


5.- Voting rights for immigrants who have lived legally in Italy for more than 5 years.


6.- Right to citizenship for those born or raised in Italy.

Unity is strength; our struggle is for rights.

Edgar Galiano
General Coordinators.
Sidiqque Nure Alam (Bachcu)
President.

Rome, 29 July 2010

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