Workers often say that the fear of firings is one of the main reasons it’s so hard to get people to fight back. The power that bosses hold over workers through firings can put them on the curb for standing up. This fear is often unspoken, but present everyday in our workplaces. This piece we share explores how truly arbitrary that power is and its effects. When bosses can hurt us and sometimes ruin lives without any reason at all, it also reminds us why we need to organize.
One of the disciplinary tools employers use is what I call shit-canning. This is when an employee is let go without notice and without explanation, without having done anything wrong, even by the boss’s own account. I say “employee” rather than “worker” (my standard term) because it also happens to people in the upper ranks who themselves have the ability to hire and fire.
Until this year, late summer newspapers were always filled with articles about burglaries. “Family returns from holiday and finds home emptied by thieves” was a typical headline. This year, though, it has been factories emptied, and those sneaking in during the night to take away machinery have been the managers themselves.
This has happened in three Italian cities, in three different companies: Firem in Formigine (Modena), Dometic in Forlì and Hydronic Lift in Pero (Milan).
Italian boss sends workers on vacation, Closes factory and sets up business in Poland - with the help of the Polish state
Workers of the Firem Factory near Modena should take issue with the government of Poland. This is because their jobs have been moved here – to Oława where their ex-boss, Fabrizio Pedroni, will receive tax exemptions and other aid for creating jobs in Poland.
In Italy he had about 40 employees. In Poland he only assured the people in charge of granting permission to operate in the Special Economic Zone that he would hire 18 people. It is not clear whether he will employ more – or just put the work the Italians did on fewer people.
The so-called “Solidarity” union from a furniture factory in Bartoszyce has issued a scandalous statement in what seems to be a campaign organized by the bosses of Black Red White company to protect its image after the events of recent weeks.
These events revolve around the BRW Sofa fatory in Nidzica, which is wholly owned by Black Red White. This company has a large share of the local furniture market and is present in other E. European countries. Notably, its owner is a billionaire and one of the richest men in Poland. The firm is very profitable. But the pay is miserable and there have been a lot of problems in BRW Sofa.
The surprise closure of the public broadcaster ERT provokes anger and a general strike as thousands are fired.
The Greek government has ordered the immediate shutdown of the public broadcasting company(ERT). The surprise move was announced on Tuesday and took effect hours later as TV screens went blank. Thousands of people instantly lost their jobs and the decision is being condemned and challenged by the workers of ERT and other trade unions.
Anarchists and workers show solidarity with the fired 2,656 employees of state TV and radio of Greece.
Thousands in Athens, Greece gathered in the evening of June 11, 2013 outside the national TV headquarters, in solidarity with 2,656 employees that were left jobless in just one day.
The protest continued all throughout the night and into the next day (today) to protect the building from the riot police who were supposed to violently evacuate it early in the morning.
A reportback of a IWW picket in Minneapolis of Chicago-Lake Liquors, which fired 5 organizers in April 2013. More information can be found here.
Over a month after the retaliatory firings of five works shocked South Minneapolis, a noted progressive community within the Twin Cities, workers at Chicago-Lake Liquors continue their fight for justice at work by taking it right to their bosses.
May Day 2013 leaflet by Groupe Express-Roularta, Paris.
This is a response to a leaflet produced by the striking workers of the Aulnay PSA (Peugeot-Citroen) plant which is due for imminent closure. Translated by Chronos Publications.
Healthcare workers at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan protest after receiving the first 40 letters of redundancy. After a general assembly, the struggling workers occupied the hospital reception and the roof of the building, prompting the heavy-handed response by police.
It has been a week of renewed struggle at Milan’s San Raffaele Hospital, with mass meetings, rooftop occupations, demonstrations and fights with the police.