Global economy, sacking Italians


Are you an employee in the private sector? With a simple test, you can find out your future:
Case number one: international competition is too strong and the company closes. Sacked on the spot.
Case number two: the cost of labour is lower in China or in Romania and the company transfers to China or Romania. Sacked on the spot.
Case number three: international competition is too strong, the cost of labour is too high, you’ve been taken on as a precarious worker, not on the books or openly but underpaid. Investments in safety are reduced: died at work.
Case number four: the company is a multinational with a base in Italy. The costs of bureaucracy are too high, taxes on work are too high and the services don’t exist and are costly. The company transfers the offices and the factories abroad: emigrating.
Case number five: the company, in spite of all the problems, is useless. The product is "Made in Italy". The company wants to increase profits. The company moves production to China or Romania. The product is called "Made in Italy". The profits of the company go up: Sacked on the spot.
I’m publishing a letter from Simone, one who has been sacked, and I reckon who comes into the situation of case number 4. I’ll pop over to Florence to understand better.

Dear Beppe,
We are 450 people in the Zanussi company in Florence. As you know, work on refrigerators costs less in China. They are paid less. If we work for ten, they work for five and this is why they want to close the company. Just think. 450 families with mortgages to be paid and children to bring up and they close the company. Beppe, I think that if you come to Scandicci, they won’t let you come inside, but if you let us know beforehand, if you like I’ll write down the name of my Trades Union representative in the CGIL, at least if you happen to come, tell him that you are Beppe Grillo, but tell him that you are the real one or he won’t believe you. We wanted to organise a march to the government in Rome. If you come too, we’ll be really happy. I’m writing to you because I have been working there for 5 years, but there are others who are over 40 and don’t know where to go any more. BEPPE WE NEED HELP. You are our last hope. Please don’t let us be closed down. We’ll agree to bear the cost of putting on a show in front of ZANUSSI and put up a stage. If there’s any money, otherwise do it on the ground level or on a car. If you come to the gate house first, we’ll come out straight away. Me a worker and a Trades Union representative.
Anyway, if they know that you’re there, the whole factory will stop.” Simone.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:02 PM in | Comments (7)
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There are two solutions:

1. Lower the standards of living in europe - Problem solved.

2. Raise the standards of living in Asia - Problem solved.

Most people would not like solution 1, exept a few, but the second solution would even the asians love, exept a few that happens to be the same few that easily could live with solution 1. Now add the "little" side-effect of case 2 that is a sure and time tested way of reducing overpopulation.

Posted by: Magnus Stålnacke | February 26, 2008 01:47 AM

100% agree with Ben.

Italy needs to wake up to reality and the harsh economic fallout of the global economy... or our own. Have you read Gamorra? Where is the "false" economy in Italy. Ragazzi - it's home grown. Italy must face the pain of political change - viz a vis the pain the UK went through in the '80s and deal with the Unions.
Italy beats the UK hands down with culture, food, history, km of beautiful coastline : believe in yourselves - you can change this !!
(I live in Roma, pay 47% tax and am pissed off too. This will be the first election I want to vote in)

Posted by: Fat Bob | February 24, 2008 11:26 PM

I understand the point and I agree with you, but the problem is that there are people who do work for less, in the world. It is only obvious that, your company and any company producing whatever good, is exactly a business entity, and not a charity, therefore, in the system's evil logic, it is obvious that choose to go where labour expense is cheaper. Exactly as we would buy something where it is cheaper, and not where it is more expensive because we feel sorry for the seller...If companies would not do that, another company, a competitor producing the same good would go to China, and would be able to produce the same good cheaper than your company, and your company would not sell its goods anymore, and will have to close down, with the same results for the 450 family. What I am trying to say here, is that it is pointless blaming the government, (Italian government has a lot of faults, but this that you are explaining it is the modern global production system that works exactly like that, and the market laws are these. Not only in Italy, but globally. If the chinese are cheaper, why should they produce something which is more expensive and therefore lose competitiveness in the market? Doing something like that would be suicide for a company and big losses for the shareholders, all the people who bought shares in the company will lose all their investments. This is today's world, and cannot be changed by a government. It's the market law, I'm afraid....

Posted by: Daniela Giachin | February 24, 2008 09:19 PM

Do wonders never cease? It seems our politicians agree that something must be done to raise the ridiculously low wages of Italian workers. They're all in agreement! Wow! I almost feel like singing "Solidarity Forever"! History in the making! Cheer-deserving display of generosity! We wish! No sooner were the words "raise wages" uttered than "but they must increase production" followed. There goes the wind out of our sails. Increase production. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Could it possibly mean work ten to twelve hours a day, six days a week, which when all is said and done, eventually means produce more and get less? If I remember correctly the workers burned alive at the Thyssen worked six days a week plus a couple of hours overtime for every shift to barely make ends meet at month-end. How much more were they supposed to work to deserve a civilized living wage? When is the squeezing going to stop? Oh, I know these questions can only make someone like Berlusconi smile, or for that matter any CEO. I can just hear them, "Nothing personal my friend, but the Chinese, the Taiwanese, the Indians, the Romanians will be only too happy to work for us at one-tenth of what we're paying you". (So much for the cheer "Forza Italia!") But the question is whether or not the politicians are aware that for all their promises of change, better health care, better schools, better everything means little when we can all be threatened to be replaced at our jobs by some other people in some other country? Do the politicians really believe that the 450 workers losing their jobs at Zanussi care about what they say or promise? The politicians want to improve the lives of Italians? OK, let them start with the Zanussi workers. They're not asking for the moon. They want to work. Paradoxically, they want to produce. But bosses are pulling the factory from under their feet so that they can turn all workers into beasts of labor. I'm exaggerating? No I'm not. It's the logic of the system.

Posted by: L P | February 23, 2008 05:11 AM

It's not the only country going to the dogs. Sadly though with the current state of government and their ineptitude at selling themselves it is going south. Look at a country like France, much the armpit of Europe aesthetically speaking are good at selling themselves with what little they got as far as historical structures and food. Italy on the other hand the richest country in both food, art, and historical structure was beaten by Spain in tourism last year. It's outrageous, sad.

Posted by: Ben | February 22, 2008 05:56 PM

Welcome to the global economy.this sort of things are happening everywhere.

Posted by: B. Russo | February 22, 2008 03:47 PM

Italy is going to the dogs!

Posted by: Pat Kerr | February 22, 2008 02:15 PM

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