Unity, school and work: the priorities expressed during the 1 May celebration in Varese
The town’s celebration of International Workers’ Day was marked by a procession and the intervention by the three trade union secretaries, who called for unity at this delicate moment.
Unity, work and school. These were the three themes that dominated International Workers’ Day, in Varese. Nearly one thousand people marched under the banners of the three trade unions, to celebrate 1 May.
In Piazza del Garibaldino, the three provincial secretaries, Franco Stasi (CGIL), Carmela Tascone (CISL), and Antonio Albrizio (UIL), remembered the importance of the 150 years of Italy, a country that, today, more than ever, must stand united, to face what is happening in the Mediterranean. The three secretaries took turns to read from a single statement, to emphasise the unity among their trade unions.
Antonio Albrizio remembered, above all, the meaning of International Workers’ Day, which goes well beyond the “… fruitless controversies that describe an important occasion like this in the reductionist terms of closing or opening of the shops. The workers have always responded generously to the demands of companies, demonstrating both flexibility and responsibility. Now, complaining of the loss of one day of production is a humiliation for workers in this country.”
The CISL Secretary, Carmela Tascone, was given the job of analysing the economic situation in the Province, a situation that, despite a number of encouraging signs, particularly in the commercial sector, still shows broad areas of suffering, which translate into increased redundancies (+11% with respect to the same period in 2010) and into unemployment, which, last December, reached 21,000, with a rate of 5.3%. Carmela Tascone said, “The difficult situation makes it hard to see the end of the current crisis. There needs to be a stable recovery of demand. And in this situation, tax reform, increasing fairness and fighting tax evasion, emerge as a priority. The crisis is anything but over, we now need to focus on new instruments of development.”
The CGIL Secretary, Franco Stasi, called attention to the situation of state education, where cuts are putting the quality of the service in serious danger. “In our province, 15 classes and 118 jobs are disappearing, despite an increase of 92 pupils in the primary school. We’re losing 40 places for English specialists, and 7 support places. In Lombardy, 4034 places will be lost: 1425 in primary schools, 235 in middle schools, and 872 in high schools. This will all put many families, especially those in which both parents work, in difficulty.”
The 1 May celebration in Varese has become a moment to reflect on the values underlying the Constitution, equality, work, culture, science, education and solidarity. “This is the Italy of our Constitution, the best Italy, the Italy that we want!”
Music and rhythms from all over the world could be heard in Piazza del Garibaldino, while the flags were waving.