Monday, September 10, 2012

Sardinia: aluminium maker Alcoa on the edge of shut-down

First the Ilva case, now the Alcoa case.
Aluminium maker Alcoa is a massive source of employment in the region Sardinia.
Unfortunately, the factory is to be shut down unless a new buyer steps up. Workers are on strike; three of them also climbed on a silo as a sign of protest and spent a few days there, despite the rain (one of them had to get down because he was feeling sick).
Today Corrado Passera, Minister of Economic Development, met the executives of the factory and the unions in Rome, but the situation is still really problematic. Many Alcoa workers travelled to Rome, and fighting with the police has been going on all day. So far, 14 people between protesters and policemen have been injured, and the meeting had to be suspended for two hours.
It is still unclear whether there any buyers interested in buying Alcoa or not. According to the Italian government Alcoa will have to deal with Klesch, which seems to be the bidder for now, but the factory denies to have received any offers so far.
Our only hope is that an agreement with the Swiss group Klesch is actually possible. Sardinia is one of the most troubled regions of Italy in terms of employment, and the shutdown of Alcoa would be disastrous for the economy of the area.
Ironically, Sardinia is, like Puglia, a treasure in Italy: the landscapes and the beaches are stunning, it really is a beautiful land. And it breaks your heart to see it sinking instead of flourishing. 

Source (in Italian):

Picture of the sign shown by the workers on the silo saying "Willing to do anything"