Nokia occupation, Milan, 2002

Submitted by Steven. on November 13, 2006

Prols leaflet that was distributed in Bochum, Germany and Milan, Italy to Nokia-workers in March 2002 after Nokia workers occupied their plant and blocked railways against outsourcing.

Workers occupy Nokia Factory in northern Milan and all in all react to the new challenges with great flexibility and mobility!

The history
In 1997 Nokia-Maillefer bought the Swiss firm Nextrom, who produced optic cable and machines used to manufacture plastic film in a factory in north Milan (Cusano Milanio) where 67 people were working - up to this point. Nokia-Maillerer had already closed one workshop there and out-sourced the work to other companies.

At the beginning of this year the daughter company Nokia-Nextrom announced the closure of the assembly plant, meaning that the workers were also given their notice, for the end of May 2002. They seemed to get pretty pissed off about that...

The reaction of the workers
Only three workers resigned over this - all the others decided on collective action against the threats of dismissal. They refused the offer of letting themselves be individually 'helped' by a private restart company after the notice period. The factory is in occupation since the 15 February, meaning that the workers are in the factory during the day in order to stop the machines being taken out of the factory. They hold regular assemblies there, to decide the next steps. They have used the companies equipment to send e-mails and faxes to the Nokia Factories around the world and to contact the local and regional press.

On the 25 February they organised a demo, followed by the occupation of the tracks of the local train station, to draw attention to their struggle. Next they want to have a gig in a sympathetic culture centre, to get in contact with more people or supporters. At the moment they are still waiting for a reaction from the company. Right now they want to keep the factory occupied and start other actions. One worker said that they may have occupied the factory, but not because they think it belongs to them. The only one who would have anything to loose here, is the owner. If they aren't able to keep their jobs, that factory can go to hell...

Contact the strikers in Milan: e-mail: [[email protected]]

Nokia - Connecting People
Like other companies - Nokia connects people too,
* It connects workers from temp agencies and permanent workers on the assembly line, to see who is working more for less
* It connects different production locations through the transport chains, and so puts them into the rat-race of rationalisation.

When the crisis comes - Nokia, and other firms, having let us sweat it out too much on the production lines and flooded the market with handy-nose-hair-trimmers or the next new-fangled-hi-tech-wonder - they de-connect us again: shutting this or that factory, sending these or those workers home. It is not only the crisis in the air, not only our worsening living conditions, be it here in the Ruhrgebiet, in Tokyo, Milan or Los Angeles. There is something new in the air: Along with the sharpening world wide crisis, we can hear, from all corners of the world, of the efforts on the side of the workers to react to the attacks of the companies, without deferring their power to whichever mousy mediators or the next government-in-waiting.

In Argentina unemployed people occupy important trunk roads, as a reaction against the austerity measures of the state, a few plants are under workers control and hundreds of people take part in mass assemblies in the city areas or companies, instead of the elections. In South Korea there was a general strike at the end of February, which rocked the government and a bit more besides! We also see smaller confrontations from workers in different countries, who have similar conditions and find similar answers, be it cleaners in Milan or McDonalds workers in Paris (see

Many of these confrontations we don't even get to here about, because neither the mainstream media, nor the union bureaucracy have an interest in reporting offensive and self-organised activities against intensified exploitation. We think this information is important - hence this leaflet. The example of those on strike at Nokia in North Milan shows that the (international) organisation of work - company owned means of communication, motorways, the structures of supply (of parts etc) - gives us various possibilities of organising struggle. It also shows that we have to break through the isolation of single departments, companies, regions etc, so we don't get K.O.ed.

We will only overcome this isolation by turning on other exploited people: turning them on, because through unexpected, spontaneous action we make the Bosses shit scared and through the self-organising of strikes, the occupation, the sabotage we also develop new, intensive relationships to each other, that are so often fall apart in our every day working life. Only in this way can we ask the questions about what is new: about the movement for a different society, in which we connect ourselves and do not leave it up to the hamster-wheel of Nokia or whichever profit centre to do it for us!

Connecting Prols
We hear about conflicts hear and there in our region, e.g. the actions against the closure of the Deutsche Bank 24-call centre in Duisburg, the bus drivers strike in Winter 2001/2 in Düsseldorf or the confrontations about the temporary contracts and extra shifts at Opel in Bochum. They all stayed a bit defensive and scattered, but if you have any exciting stories from your assembly line or cleaning squad, write to us: [[email protected]]
website: []

Connecting Milano
For a workers' net there is a meeting every Tuesday at 21:30 in Via Conterosso 20, Panetteria Occupata, Milano-Lambrate. [[email protected]]