Biandrate. Italy. A statement from the SI Cobas union on the death of Adil Belakhdim, a trade unionist killed while picketing a Lidl warehouse during the strike of June 18th in Biandrate.
Originally published by SI Cobas.
This morning, during the national strike of Logistics, Adil Belakhdim, our coordinator for Novara and a member of the National Coordination of SI Cobas, was killed by a truck that forced a picket line in front of the Lidl warehouse at Biandrate (Novara).
The picket, consisting of a few dozen workers, was hit by a criminal driver, who at the sight of the picket did not hesitate to press the accelerator, first running over two workers who barely managed to save themselves and who are now hospitalized, and then running over our comrade, and running away.
Adil was married with two young children, and had been a Tnt worker for years, when he chose to return to his country and start a business. Things didn’t go as he had planned, and so he came back to Italy and became active in the SI Cobas.
It was he who gave his commitment in Novara to build that provincial coordination, working daily to develop SI Cobas in the Novara area. Comrades from other cities were able to hear him at the last national coordination where he urged the struggle and participation in tomorrow’s demonstration in Rome. Two years ago, when SI Cobas met in Morocco the largest union, he was present with our delegation and generously hosted us at his home.
Although still incredulous and appalled by this tragedy, we can not silence our anger for a death that is not in any way dismissable as a simple accident (as some media had passed at first), nor as the simple work of an isolated madman!
Adil’s murder is in fact the culmination of an escalation of organized violence against Si Cobas, which has been ongoing for months and is now without limits.
The police charges at FedEx TNT in Piacenza, the arrests, the travel warrants and the fines against the strikes, the armed attacks by bodyguards and scabs in San Giuliano and Lodi, and the punitive raids at Texprint two days ago, are part of a single design under which the bosses and organized crime (which has a huge business in logistics) act in a united and concentric way to crush with force and violence the strikes of the workers against super-exploitation and in defense of the achievements won over the years by militant unions, primarily by SI Cobas. Such a violence is almost always backed and fed by the ruthless repression conducted by the police against strikes and workers’ struggles.
THE BOSSES WANTED THE DEAD AND THEY GOT IT.
For weeks the bosses and their accomplices have been spreading in the workplaces, by any means and with any kind of provocation, the message that picket lines can be broken, that workers and trade union organisers can be freely beaten to a pulp, that strikes can be crushed and struggles silenced by mafia methods, all with the complicity or connivance of the state and the police.
This explicit and deployed violence is just the tip of the iceberg of a political strategy aimed at silencing workers’ demands and isolating class unionism, functional to pave the way for the next governmental measures to attack the living conditions and wages of millions of workers, above all the imminent unblocking of layof these hours we are witnessing the usual ballet of statements of dismay and stances by the leaders of the government, led by Prime Minister Draghi who invites to “shed light” on what happened in Biandrate, and with the official unions Cgil, Cisl and Uil that, as usual, decide to call a strike only when the workers’ blood has already been shed.
A pattern similar to what happened years ago at Gls in Piacenza, when Abd El Salaam was run over by a truck during a strike called by Usb: after a few hours of indignation on unified networks, total silence reigned on the condition of thousands of logistic workers, daily exploited, underpaid and subject to all forms of blackmail and harassment.
The Prime Minister Draghi rather than shedding crocodile tears should explain why for over 3 months the
SI Cobas has been asking the government for a crisis table at Ministry of Economic Development to solve the dispute at Fedex in Piacenza with 280 workers thrown out into the street only because of their membership in our union, without ever receiving a response and, indeed, receiving in return charges and truncheons of the police when last May 21 we went in front of the palace of Government; he should explain why for over a year the SI Cobas has been fighting to obtain from the government (first Conte’s, now the current one) the launch of binding protocols on health and safety in the workplaces without ever having received any response; he should explain why the government is sponsoring restructuring plans that include thousands of redundancies and a general precarization of employment contracts (today in Fedex, tomorrow everywhere) without the most representative trade unions in the logistics sector being called to the negotiating table.
The leadership of CGIL-CISL-UIL should explain to us how to reconcile the just strike for the death of Adil with their systematic work of demonization and criminalization conducted against the SI Cobas (just to stay at the most recent events, the calls to the police to intervene against the workers on strike at Ceva in Stradella) and, more generally, against combative unionism.
Tomorrow Adil would have been with us in Rome to demonstrate against the unblocking of redundancies,
against the sham renewal of the Freight and Logistics national collective agreement, and in support of the struggle of Fedex workers in Piacenza.
Our grief for the loss of one of our national leaders by a criminal and cowardly act is indescribable but does not tarnish, indeed it strengthens the reasons for the demonstration tomorrow in Rome.
Because these are the same reasons and the same cause for which Adil has been fighting for years andthat are the basis of the tragedy of this morning: the struggle for the emancipation of the proletariat from capitalist barbarism.
Adil lives on in our struggles!
His blood will not be shed in vain!
Honor to you, comrade Adil!