I just received a note from friends in Germany telling me that 170 workers have occupied a telecommunications cable plant in Berlin owned by Alcatel, a giant multinational with its headquarters in France. The company has 120,000 employees and plans to layoff 12,000.
The layoffs are going to have a very bad effect on this particular town where unemployment is already 20%. My friends tell me that this is the first plant occupation in Berlin since the end of World War II. They are doing everything they can to build support for the occupation and hope it will be a turning point for the movement there. They are asking for messages of support. I suggest the following. Please let me know if you can endorse it.
We in the United States are very inspired to learn that you have decided to fight Alcatel's plans to layoff workers by occupying your plant in Berlin. As we are sure you have heard, there have been many layoffs and plant closings in basic industries in the U.S. in the last years and the labor movement, even with the current "eonomic boom," has not found a way to put a stop to this trend. Your plant occupation shows the way forward and we hope you will be successful!
With solidarity and best wishes
The following have endorsed the statement in solidarity with the Alcatel workers: