For two years, the GKN auto parts plant in Florence, Italy, has been occupied by laid-off workers. It’s the longest factory occupation in Italian history — and its retooling for green production shows how workers can reorganize the economy while saving jobs.
Francesca Gabbriellini is a PhD student in contemporary history at the University of Bologna. She is part of the ex-GKN Reindustrialization Group.
The battle against layoffs at Florence’s GKN auto parts plant may seem like a dispute from a past era. Yet the workers’ plan for the green reconversion of the factory shows how labor can point the way to the future.