"Italiani, brava gente"

Photo: http://chinaherald.net

In China, according to the CBC and the Chinadaily, not only do we export capital and showcase industries, we also export thugs for beating people up.

The Chinese employees of the Italian company DeCoro (manufacturer of sofas exported mainly to America) demonstrated in the street at Shenzhen on Wednesday 2 November against the repeated beatings suffered by a range of workers on various occasions, handed out by foreign supervisors and the reduction of their wages.
Police wearing riot gear dispersed the demonstrators.

A record.

We are the only ones in the world who beat up the Chinese because they work too little. After years of making Italians workers become black, the companies are now making the Chinese become black.

But in Africa what will they do?
There you canít make a black become black.

Weíll find ourselves exporting even the triple trade union to China.


Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:19 PM in | Comments (13)
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I can assure you that while some Americans may recognize the word "divan" no one actually uses it in everyday speech! "Divano" translates as "sofa" or "couch."

Posted by: George De Stefano | November 11, 2005 06:42 PM

@Posted by: Matteo G. | November 10, 2005 09:52 AM

About English language:

I spent 8 months in Los Angeles. There, no one ever used the word "divan". The translation of "divano" was _always_ "couch".

Maybe it's American English... but actually "divan" sounds a bit odd to me.


Is it the translation of the word 'divano' all we should care for?
Anyway-FYI- Altough by far 'couch' and 'sofa' are the usual names for that, 'divan' is also correct.

from: World English Dictionary, North American Edition
di∑van [ di vŠn ] (plural di∑vans)


1. [ di vŠn, dī vŠn ] backless sofa: a sofa without a back, and sometimes without arms

My girlfriend is American, altough she found the word unsual, she perfectly understood.
It's all about communicating ideas. What about the CONTENT of the post, THE ISSUES and ALL OF THAT?
Beppe is doing a great job, in English as well. Keep up the good job!

Posted by: Sandro Ze | November 10, 2005 07:47 PM

It's incredible.
I think companies should have a certification on how they operate abroad. If they are European companies they should be obliged to be transparent on their abroad activities and respond to European courts for what they are doing.

Go,Beppe Go!

Posted by: Tom Rolante | November 10, 2005 03:51 PM

Hi there,

I've read some of Beppe's posts in English and, although I'm not English mothertongue (but I leave in the UK), I think sometimes their translation sounds a bit clumsy. Some words, as pointed out by George De Stefano and others, can't have a literal translation... ie make someone becoming "black" should probably read something like "beaten up black and blue", and "divans" (?) should actually translate to either "sofa" or "couch", as already suggested. Nevertheless those doing the translations should keep up the good work as this is a good place to show to English-speaking people that not all Italians are dumbed by the TVs and their bloody/indecent propaganda...

About this Beppe's post, what can I say? I found that many of those businessmen that set up companies in China and some other poorer countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Tunisia etc.) often seats with those politicians openly promoting "zero tollerance" against the immigration and about the immigrants they say they would "shoot 'em all if they could" (see Gentilini speeches, ex-mayor of Treviso).
In the Italian region where I come from there are quite a few examples of this: North League xenophobe propaganda is sometimes financed by people runnig businesses in poorer countries, taking advantage of the lack of labor legislations and low wedges payed to the workers, while willing to denying even most of the basic rights for asylum seekers. Often I wonder how some people can be so cynical...


Posted by: Massimo Giraldo | November 10, 2005 03:10 PM

I used to hear "we have to learn from historical events, it would be helpful to avoid mistakes"!! Unfortunately it seems that nobody take care of this say. We always make the same mistakes and produce the same bad results such as political and social tensions. I can just hope that Chinese workers will be able to reach faster the goals that our "former trade union" reached in west countries in term of worker rights. I use the term "former" because nowadays they can’t be defined as trade unions at all, considering their collusion with political and lobbies power. Too many time former union officer became company managers (have a look at this link http://www.pane-rose.it/pagina_art.php?id_art=4315 ) and politicians. There is something WRONG!!!

My apologise for my bad English I have never lived in an English speaking country. I hope I have being at list understandable!!

Posted by: sante vagnarelli | November 10, 2005 11:12 AM

OT: US used white phosphorus on Iraqi civilians-report

By Phil Stewart

8 November 2005

Reuters News
"...A RAI documentary showed images of bodies recovered after a November 2004
offensive by U.S. troops on the town of Falluja, which it said proved the use of
white phosphorus against men, women and children who were burned to the bone....."

RAI posted the full report, including television images, at


Posted by: Giovanni Piuma | November 10, 2005 10:40 AM

About English language:

I spent 8 months in Los Angeles. There, no one ever used the word "divan". The translation of "divano" was _always_ "couch".

Maybe it's American English... but actually "divan" sounds a bit odd to me.


Posted by: Matteo G. | November 10, 2005 09:52 AM

I have learned years ago from my then boss that "the truth is always in the middle".
The employes maybe got less money in their paychecks of October because they had national holiday in October!!! I say maybe because I do not know their agreements with DECORO. By the way, nice tranlation (divans)!! I think it should be "sofa".



Posted by: John WEDGE | November 10, 2005 05:46 AM

For non-italian readers: "Fare nero" (litterally "Make black", translated as "become black" in the text) means to beat down someone/ defeat or humiliate someone (in the original Italian post it has a double-meaning).

In this case the right meaning is "treat someone very badly, deny his own rights (as a worker and man)"

Hope this help! :)

-- For the author (Beppe): forse le pagine in inglese avrebbero bisogno di qualche revisione perchŤ in effetti non Ť sempre chiaro il senso di una traduzione (compresa, in questo caso, la 'triplice sindacale' che forse meriterebbe una riga di spiegazione al termine del post!)
Per tutto il resto buona fortuna!!!


Posted by: Alex Turin | November 10, 2005 12:46 AM

With "making them black" I think he means give the workers no rights at all, low salaries etc.

Funnily enough in this article
Mr. Ricci (head of DeCoro) claims he pay double the average factory wage and that his workers have now switched from bicycles to motorcycles and all can afford to buy a mobile phone...

Is that even progress?

Posted by: Manuel Gherardi | November 9, 2005 10:32 PM

nice...very nice. Thanx for keeping me updated on this distusting issues. As you said in one of your shows "knowledge is the only thing that can save our ***". Anyway, keep up with the good work. One day we'll be so many of us and then we'll be able to change things on a large scale. Regards

Posted by: Francesco Lo Castro | November 9, 2005 07:54 PM

I'm shocked, what is this world coming to?
It's despicable and should never be allowed.
I'm disgusted.

Posted by: Rosie Trenta | November 9, 2005 07:46 PM

I think this may be confusing to non-Italian English speakers. I assume that when you say "black" you are making an allusion to "lavoro nero," i.e., marginal, underpaid work in which the workers are super-exploited. Many in Italy, particularly in the South, do "black work," both native-born Italians and immigrants. This system is being exported to other, poorer countries. Evviva la globalizzazione, eh?

Che vergogna. Che criminalita!

Posted by: George De Stefano | November 9, 2005 07:45 PM

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