Martedì, 23 Ottobre 2018

Alcoa contract workers lower selves into 10m ex-mineshaft


Carbonia, January 9 - A group of contract workers
from the troubled Alcoa aluminum smelter in Portovesme,
Sardinia, lowered themselves by cable to the bottom of a
10-metre mineshaft on Wednesday in their on-going protest for
social welfare benefits for laid-off workers.
For the last three days, Alcoa contract workers have
occupied an iron tower at the ex-Serbariu coal mine in the
depressed Sulcis area calling for reassurances from national and
local government concerning their social welfare situation.
The protestors want a framework agreement signed granting
them social welfare benefits.
On Tuesday, a worker threatened to jump from a
20-metre-high platform, but stopped after colleagues and
emergency services intervened.
The protest escalated again on Wednesday morning when some
of the workers, faces covered, reached the bottom of the shaft
located inside the metal tower, and closed themselves in an
adjoining gallery after posting their union flags at the
"It is a sign of how serious the situation is," said the
RSU-CISL union delegate Manolo Mureddu, "We are very worried for
our future and that of our families."
The latest protest follows last year's decision by the US
aluminium giant to power down its Portovesme smelter, which
employed hundreds of people in the area.
The plant has technically been at a standstill since
November 1, while Alcoa promised to keep all workers employed
through the end of 2012.
Representatives of FIOM and UILM unions expressed their
solidarity with the workers this morning.
Carbonia Mayor Giuseppe Casti visited the foot of the tower
on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Casti called for regional government
intervention to tackle the social benefits issue.

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