Jabil, families on the brink of the abyss

There was once an ideal Italy and a real Italy. The first is a blurry hologram that politics and lobbies are trying to project in our minds, amidst rumors, arguments and empty promises. The secondo ne instead, is the one that struglles, elbowing his way through life for a loaf of bread and a bowl of hot soup. Giuseppe La Scala is the latter. His, is the voice of those who do not give up in front of adversity, but remain attached to a shred of hope.

He was also there in Caserta last Monday together with the hundreds of Jabil Circuit workers who took to the streets to demonstrate against the redundancies announced by the company. A dramatic story that concerns the plant in Marcianise, one of the largest American multinationals in the field of innovation. “A centre of excellence with highly qualified professionals” as he proudly defines it. The presence of an important company represents an extraordinary opportunity for redemption of an area that is experiencing (to put it in his own words) a “dramatic desertification of labour”.

There are no half-measures here, and if at 45 (as Joseph) one is unemployed, you can say goodbye to a new job. “Young people can’t find work, let alone one of my age” he admits resigned. For the Jabil employees, the night mare began last December, when the company feared the layoff of 440 workers ou of 760 ” explains Nicodemus Lanzetta, Fim-Cisl leader in Caserta. The company aimed to cope with the financial crisis by reducing its staff. The last time the plant had lost many orders (such as for the construction of electricity metres-the tender was taken by Asian Holding company that guaranteed the same performance at lower prices.

Owing to the mediation of the unions this possibility was averted, thanks to the 160 workers on redundancy schemes. It all served to no purpose. September 26th, 2014 Jabil was back on the war path, unilaterally opening procedures for the cancellation of the contracts of further 382 employees. “It was a bolt from the blue,” explains Laily-the company has given a strong signal: we do not want to exceed 180 units “. The protest was immediate but peaceful: a sit-in at the station of Naples and then a hearing in the prefecture. The next step was a meeting at the Ministry of Economic Development, because the issue considered a political one. “The Government needs to safeguard the productive centres of our country. All companies must be put on an equal footing “asks Lanzetta.
But still, no word has been pronounced from Rome .

Meanwhile, the clock goes on ticking on: If the matter is not solved by 11th December, Jabil will start sending off letters of dismissal. A scenario that the unions are trying to dismiss as far as possible anyway. “Collective redundancy must be withdrawn there- continues Fim-Cisl Secretary of Caserta-; this would increase production levels and we could at least get to solidarity contracts “. Because reaching 180 employees – adds Laili – would mean totally abandoning Caserta and Italy”. A bit like going from North to South (from Lingotto to Termini Imerese). This is a consequence of a relentless crisis but also a result of a shortsighted economic policy that has reduced itself at the last moment to intervene when there is nothing more to be done.
A real slap to fundamental labour rights.

Translation provided by Marina Stronati