Interview with a member of the unions in Bayer´s Italian plant Rosia (near Siena)

Which unions are represented in Rosia?
There are 3 main unions Filcem, Fillea,Uilcem, that together are called FEMCA, the pharma-chemical industry unitary union in Italy.

How long does the plant in Rosia belong to Bayer?
Bayer bought it in 1996.

What is produced there?
We package Recombinant Factor VIII, sold with the brand names Kogenate for Bayer, and Helixate for Aventis. We also package plasma-derivates for Talecris.

How many people work there?
Actually 95

Which percentage of the workforce is organized in the unions?
About 60%

How many of them are workers, how many belong to the management?
There are only 3 first level managers and 6 second level managers. The rest (86) are workers.

Have there been disputes between the unions and the management in Rosia before?
Yes, when it was announced the cancelation of the project to build in Rosia the emoderivates european pole, in 2001.

Have there been strikes before?
Only recently, when we suspected the site was going to be closed

What is the reason for the recent conflict, what are your demands?
Our site is efficient and profitable, why moving the production and closing the site? We'll be victims of a re-organization policy within Bayer-Schering new co. We ask for another job, not only some money.

When did the strikes start?
At the beginning of 2007

What are the aims of the management?
Transfer the activities, close the site without causing out-of-stocks to the market, re-locate (as possible) the workers.

Is there unity among the workforce, how many workers participate in the strikes?
Almost everyone (second level management included)

Is there solidarity from outside the company or the media?

What is the role of the regional government?
They would like to create an industrial biotechnology area near Siena, but investments from industry are needed

Do you get support from other Bayer plants or from abroad?
Not at all

Are you in touch with unions or workers committees in Germany? No

What can we do for you? Do you want us to get attention for the problems in Rosia here in Germany?
Our dream is that Bayer would invest some money and create a production facility here in Rosia, as promised to the workers, to the regional and national authorities in 1996, or being more realistic, sell the area to a company that wants to do the same, maintaining the actual job positions.