GKN Florence: crunch time for the most important dispute in Europe

Read Time 3 mins | Tuesday 18 June, 14:08

We are alerting all UWU members to a very important dispute taking place in Florence, Italy. Workers at the GKN Florence factory have been in occupation for nearly three years. The workers are demanding government intervention to bring the factory under workers' control. Their struggle culminated in the workers forming an assembly of citizens, workers, students, climate and social movements, to demand a new model and a just transition. GKN workers have until 30 June to raise £100,000 towards launching a popular share scheme, which will be used to produce solar panels and cargo bikes. There has been a demonstration of up to 10,000 people in the region and this struggle has been successful in uniting struggles on Palestine and trans rights with the factory occupation. This actvity has also been at the forefront of the fight against fascism in Italy. 

Our friends and allies at the Reel News film collective have produced this amazing 20 min film footage.

As union workers, we are very well placed to distribute this information widely and to support these workers individually. Please bring to the attention of your union organisation, highlighting the huge importance of these workers winning this very important dispute. 

What you can do

  1. Spread the word about what the workers are trying to achieve by sharing the video and following them on social media; Website insorgiamo.org, Facebook coordinamentogknfirenze, Instagram @collettivofabbricagkn.

  2. Donate to the popular share issue to raise 1,000,000 euros and become part of the assembly that will run the factory - nearly 800,000 euros raised so far. IMPORTANT: THE CLOSING DATE IS JUNE 30.

    Supporters have been asking how they can contribute to this as individuals, or if they can't afford £500; fortunately the Climate Justice Coalition have set up a crowdfunder in the UK so that you can pay what you can afford, and still be involved in the assembly.

    You can pledge money in the UK at 
    https://www.gofundme.com/f/support-gkn-autoworkers-just-transition-struggle, or in other countries go to insorgiamo.org/100x10-000

  3. Order a cargo bike for a donation. The cargo bikes are now in production - get one for your group, give the workers feedback on its functioning and promote the campaign at the same time. Get more info, and order a bike, at https://insorgiamo.org/cargo-bike

  4. Keep 12 July 2024 free, when the third anniversary of the occupation will be celebrated in Florence - and an organised international presence is planned from all over Europe. A delegation from the UK including Reel News will be attending; if you're interested, you can contact Reel News directly at info@reelnews.co.uk

    GKN workers have requested an idea of numbers coming nearer the time and supporters physically coming to support the action will give workers a huge lift at such a difficult time.

  5. Organise a screening of the video to build support - Reel News (info@reelnews.co.uk) can send you a high-quality version for free if there is interest in your workplaces and local communities.

Image credit: Reel News / Insorgiamo.