Logistics worker killed while on strike in Piacenza, Italy

Banner reads: "Abdelsalam lives in the struggle for the rights of everyone".

During the night between September 14 and 15, Abdelssalam Eldanf was killed while he was on strike with other workers in front of the GLS logistic plant in Piacenza.

He was crushed by a truck that was trying to force the picket line. According to the workers, the truck driver was ordered to break the picket line by the Chief of Staff at the plant.

A strike had been called against the company contracted to run the plant, the SEAM. The company had fired 37 temporary workers, as well as a group of workers organized with the USB base union, who were actively leading struggles on the workplace. SEAM had previously agreed to re-hire 13 of the workers, but it suddenly rejected the agreement. Therefore, the workers immediately went on strike and blocked the exit of trucks from the plant.

The workers testify that they heard the Chief of Staff shouting at the truck driver “Go, go!” and the driver initially refusing; then, after the Chief’s insistent order, he started driving in a narrow road in the wrong direction, at high speed. Eldanf was hit, together with other two workers, one of them injured. The police was guarding the protest, but didn’t do anything.

Eldanf – 53 years old, father of five – was born in Egypt, where he was a teacher. He had been working in the GLS plant for 14 years. He wasn’t one of the fired workers, he had a permanent contract and was also waiting for his Italian citizenship. He was there in solidarity with his comrades.

The Piacenza Prosecutor’s office established that his death was a car accident, since they deny that there was any strike or protest taking place at that moment, although police was on site to manage “public order”. The truck driver is not under arrest, nor, obviously, is the Chief of Staff who ordered to crush the picket.

Many demonstrations took place in Italy during the day to mourn the loss of Eldanf. The protesters occupied the railway in Piacenza, while in Bologna a rally was attacked by the police while they were trying to get inside the train station. Other demonstrations took place in Pavia, in Naples and in other cities. The GLS plant in Piacenza in still blocked. The FIOM union declared a solidarity strike at the Ferrari plant.

Logistics is a sector that has constantly experienced strong struggles in the past years, which were always repressed with extreme violence both by police and by the companies themselves. This is especially relevant to the area around Piacenza, which has experienced such episodes in the past. The trucks have been constantly used as a weapon against pickets, causing many injuries. Many had remarked that the first victim of this killer practice was just a matter of time.

We, as Struggles in Italy, would like to express our condolences and offer our solidarity to the family and comrades of Abdelssalam Eldanf.

Original article from the Struggles in Italy blog.

Posted By

Sep 16 2016 15:58


Attached files


Sep 17 2016 14:10

La Repubblica have posted a CCTV footage, which isn't particularly clear but does give an idea of how fast the guy was driving when he hit Abdelsalam.

The driver is currently being investigated for vehicular homicide ('omicidio stradale') but the USB (the workers' union) is calling it 'omicidio padronale', bosses' homicide. There's another video I saw briefly on facebook (not sure if it was of the same picket or a similar one) where a GLS manager was shouting like a psychopath, telling drivers to run over the picketers..

There's a demo today (now, even) though not sure I'll have time to post updates though could probably be found fairly easily on the #Piacenza hashtag on twitter..

Sep 17 2016 14:23

Actually, fuck it, here's what I've found quickly..

Workers from SiCobas (another base union organising in the logistics sector)

Sep 17 2016 14:47

Sections of the CGIL (the biggest and most left-wing of the 'Big 3' union confederations in Italy) are pushing for a general strike in logistics in response to the murder. Don't know if it'll come to anything but an interesting development nonetheless..

Sep 17 2016 16:01

Thanks for writing this up, and for the updates, this is awful.

Shame the audio dropped out on the second half of that video, that was a really good speech, and from the looks of it, looks like the speaker was a personal friend of the deceased

Sep 21 2016 07:21

This is awful and disgusting, a tragedy- don't know what else to say, I guess the natural response is that something should be done in solidarity

Oct 4 2016 23:16
The police was guarding the protest, but didn’t do anything.

This sucks, but unfortunately it's not surprising.

While on a picket a number of years ago myself and another picketer walking the line were nearly run down by a driver who decided that he wanted to force his way through the line. A couple of cops were standing just a few meters away and witnessed the whole thing but didn't tell the driver anything. The thing is that just a few hours prior one of these same two cops had seen fit to give me a major harangue about my indiscretion for holding up traffic after I had briefly stopped to try to persuade another less aggressive driver out of crossing the line.

In my case I don't think that anyone had ordered the driver to break the line. I think he was just pissed that we were inconveniencing him.