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Raffaello Renzacci (1957-2003)

Tuesday 17 February 2004, by Salvatore Cannavò

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Raffaello Renzacci, an Italian trade union militant and supporter of the Fourth International, died of a cerebral aneurism on November 18, 2003 at the age of 47. Raffaello was a member of the national leadership of the CGIL trade union federation, a founder of the co-ordination of the ‘cassintegrati’ at Fiat, and a member of the Fourth International, Democrazia Proletaria (DP) and Rifondazione Comunista (PRC).

Raffaello began his trade union activity upon starting work at Fiat in 1976. His political activism had begun in 1973, when, after participating in the student movement at the Turin technical institute, he decided to join the Fourth International, a political current to which he remained loyal until the end of his life.

At Fiat, Raffaello rapidly became a trade union delegate and a front line participant in the big mobilisations of 1978-1979. During these struggles he was called up for military service. That prevented him from participating in the occupation of the factory, but not from figuring on his return on the list of 23,000 sacked workers (‘cassintegrati’).

Raffaello was among the active builders of the Co-ordination of cassintegrati at Fiat after the defeat of 1980, and was eventually able to return to work in the factory. The experience of the struggle of the cassintegrati would lead to the production of a book of which Raffaello was the editor. He participated with Antonio Moscato in the editing of another book in the late 1990s on the centenary of FIAT, entitled ‘Cento... e uno anni alla FIAT’.

His union activity intensified in the FIOM (the metalworkers federation) and the CGIL. In 1984, he was elected to its Turin directing committee and then he took part in the movement Essere Sindacato. Meanwhile, after activity in the Italian section of the Fourth International, the LCR, he was a member of Democrazia Proletaria until joining Rifondazione in 1992. He was elected to the national leadership of the biggest Italian union after the congress of 1996, but he never abandoned Turin, where he was active in promoting the social forum. He represented the Turin CGIL during the European Marches, and attended the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre.

Shortly before his death, he was involved to the full in the referendum on article 18 [1] and the question of precarious work on which he wrote in ‘Liberazione’ and ‘Il Manifesto’. He will be sorely missed, by his partner Doriana, his comrades in Turin, and every one of us.


[1see "Defeat of the referendum", IV 353