Saturday, March 24, 2007

Italian metalworkers advocate for humane development

The Fiat unions have publicly called on the company, and on Tata, to site the plant elsewhere. This is extremely important - the delay in achieving this was the divisions in the Italian trade union movement, publiching a statement/initiative by one union without getting all three would cause further division.

This should in my view be given maximum publicity in India, brought to the attention of all unions, national centers, and be circulated aggressively in the press.

In solidarity
Peter Rossman

Location of new industrial center in India threatens agricultural community

ITALY/INDIA: Italian affiliates of the International Metalworkers’ Federation are urging FIAT for clarification about the establishment of a new production unit in India.

“According to press reports, the Fiat Group is involved in the setting up of a new Tata Motors plant at Singur in the Indian state of West Bengala for the production of a low cost car,” read a joint statement from the Italian unions.

“International and Indian labour groups have voiced concern that such an industrial establishment would have a devastating impact on the fertile agricultural area, which is home to about 22,000 inhabitants, many of whom would receive no indemnity at all for the expropriation of their land.

“The area involved has in recent months been the site of protest demonstrations and, unfortunately, repressive measures taken against the farmers including the arrests of trade union leaders.

“The Fim, Fiom and Uilm National Secretariats in Italy are requesting that clarification be given on any participation of the Fiat Group in this initiative. They are demanding that FIAT, together with Tata Motors, take initiatives so to ensure that the government of West Bengala sets aside a location other than Singur in order to make the necessary industrial development possible while safeguarding the living conditions of the agricultural community.”

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