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A worker in the Senate


Sunday 3 June 2001, by Gigi Malabarba

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Gigi Malabarba, one of three PRC senators elected on May 13, began working at Alfa Romeo in Milan in the early 1970s and participated in the fierce workers’ struggles which took place at this factory, firstly against privatisation and then against the closure carried out by the new bosses, Fiat. Gigi is one of the leaders of Bandiera Rossa (Italian supporters of the Fourth International in the PRC) and the Party of Communist Refoundation.

Gigi was among the founders of the radical trade union confederation Sin-Cobas, of which he is currently the spokesperson, and with this union he has recently organised the anti-globalisation struggles in Italy and the European Marches against unemployment.

How do you explain your election? Did you expect it or was it a surprise?

Any prediction seemed very difficult in advance. I only know we waged a good campaign at local and national level, stressing the importance of social struggles and electing participants in the world of labour to Parliament. In my neighbourhood, the Party seems to have won a lot of votes.

In any case my election is essentially due to the good result for the Party overall, we got 5% and in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies we were the only party outside of the two centre-left and centre-right coalitions to go beyond the 4% barrier necessary to have people elected.

What will be your role in Parliament, in relation to your trade union responsibilities?

It is obvious that the election of a worker, probably the only one in the whole parliament, must signify a strong commitment to the struggles in the workplaces, which moreover seem to be reviving recently in Italy.

I also consider it very important to give a voice to the anti-globalisation mobilisations that represent a growing part of the population, above all youth, in revolt against neo-liberal policies.

These same policies are at the heart of the programme of Berlusconi and his government and for this reason I think that the anti-globalisation movement should be the heart of our social and political opposition, starting from the demonstrations in July in Genoa.