SOL!S remembers the Italian worker killed during a strike

Abd Elsalam Ahmed Eldanf (53 years old, father of five) was killed on the night from 14th to 15th of September 2016 in the Italian city of Piacenza, while attending a demonstration along with others, in front of the centre of the logistics company GLS. The demonstrators were demanding employment contracts for their colleagues, who were working under unfavourable conditions under an employment agency. According to eye witnesses the killing was no accident but a cold-blooded murder, as the plant manager instructed the driver to disperse the crowd, which the driver then did. A video from Turin 2012 in front of the CAAT plant, where one person was also killed, shows this is not an isolated incident. (video

The incident sparked several spontaneous demonstrations and wild strikes. The local prosecutor’s office took a hypocritical stance towards the case, when they stated that it was an accident as no demonstration or strike had been taking place at the time of the incident.

“What happened in Piacenze is tragic but not surprising: in the last couple of years similar incidents happened at tens of demonstrations, thanks to angry bosses who encouraged these actions from drivers against demonstrators. But what happened in front of the GLS plant chnages the overall view of the matter and what is most important, it cannot remain unpunished. (local coordinator of SI Cobas, Rome June 16th 2016)

The following video shows snippets of several demonstrations following the incident. Giulio Regeni, mentioned in the video, was tortured and murdered in Egypt in February 2016. Link to the video here –

Here is a reaction of a direct witness of the incident.

The context of the whole case is the fact that an ever growing percentage of workers in Italy is exploited in illegal or temporary employment. Apart from illegal work the are so called “collectives of labour”, which are just another tool of exploitation. These “collectives” strip their employees of their rights, be it in a legal or illegal way, and also keep a significant part of their wages. In 2015 2 million people were working illegally, which is almost 10% of the whole work force. Another 750 000 people worked as “employees of a collective”.

“As far as working conditions go, we have gone back to the middle ages” says Simone Carpeggiani from the union organization SI Cobas.

SI Cobas, founded in 2010, has a goal of supporting workers in their struggle. It operates mainly in the area of logistics and most workers are an active part of the organization. Workers often reach their demands, which differentiates them from other unions. In some cases there had been a doubling of wages, firing of despotic bosses or renewal of contracts with workers who had been illegally fired. Last but not least they also manage to fulfill legal norms in this area which is not a common occurrence by far. Thanks to these facts the membership, and the willingness of the members to strike and fight for adequate working conditions, is growing.

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