Iraq: Stop work to stop the war – Strikes and demonstrations in Spain and Italy

Stop work to stop the war.

Strikes and demonstrations in Spain and Italy

Fifteen minute work stoppages and factory gate meetings will be taking place across Spain and Italy at midday, Friday 14 March, to protest against the war plans of the USA. The three major trade union federations in Italy – Cgil, Uil and Cisl – and the two major union federations in Spain – the UGT and the CCOO – have responded to the European Trade Union Confederation decision of last week by making this call.

They are also calling on workers to turn out en masse for the anti-war demonstrations planned for this Saturday, 15 March, in Milan and Madrid.

Simultaneous international strike action over war, however brief, is unprecedented. It should be seen as just a beginning. The ETUC will reconvene when war starts, but plans have to be laid now, at workplace meetings and assemblies, for all-out strike action and demonstrations on Day X.

In Italy, the ‘trains of death’ carrying US military supplies across the country continue to be literally stopped in their tracks by demonstrators and last Saturday 50,000 protesters encircled the biggest US base in Europe – Camp Darby, near Pisa.

On Tuesday, all port-workers in Italy took strike action for the last hour of their shifts in protest at their work places being used to ship war equipment to the Gulf (Livorno dockers stopped supplies being sent to Vietnam in 1969). The dockers’ unions have declared they will support their members refusing to touch any war cargo.

Guido Abadessa of the Cgil is quoted as saying, "We will blockade all ports. All weapons will stay on land…No freighter loaded with weapons will leave civil ports in Italy".

Some of the smaller ‘unions of the base’ in Italy, like Cobas and Rdb, in line with the European Social Forum call last November, are urging all-out trans-European general strike action as soon as war breaks out.

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