Metalworkers demand factories be closed

Unions say they are ready to strike if necessary

(ANSA) - Rome, March 12 - The FIM, FIOM and UILM unions representing Italian metalworkers on Thursday demanded that the nation's factories be closed until March 22 because of the coronavirus. Although Italy has intensified its lockdown measures, factories have been allowed to continue operating as long as workers can have a security distance of at least one metre from each other. Some factory workers in northern Italy went on wildcat strikes Thursday because they are unhappy about this situation. A very high proportion of workers in the Piedmont provinces of Asti, Vercelli and Cuneo walked off the job Thursday at Mtm, Ikk, Dierre and Trivium works, the FIOM CGIL union said. There was also a strike near Brescia in Lombardy.
    The unions said in a joint statement that the factories should be closed until Sunday, March 22, to allow for the premises to be "sanified and put into conditions of security" with the reorganization of work places to make sure they are safe. They said that if these demands were not met they would strike for "as long as necessary" adding that the workers are "quite rightly scared".
   

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