By Jason Nardi, RIES Italia

Something extraordinary is happening in Florence, Italy. Since a year and a half, a community in support of the workers of the GKN factory (producing automotive parts) who were laid off en masse for a delocalisation and have since been looking for any way to transform this factory into one run by workers and serving the community, with a business plan that looks at renewable energy and sustainable mobility, with a mutual fund and a solidarity economy buying group. They have therefore launched a crowdfunding effort, the appeal of which follows and in which we invite you to participate!

“We have one certainty: after a year and a half of permanent presidium, struggle, waiting, betrayed hopes and more than five months of unpaid salaries, we have no alternative left but to take over the former Gkn plant in a cooperative form. We have collected 17,000 signatures in less than two weeks to ask together with people and associations in the area for public intervention, and we will continue to ask for it. In the meantime, however, we must be aware that the factory must survive by creating an alternative with only the forces of the more than 300 workers laid off on July 9, 2021, and of all those in solidarity who have joined us.

We have an ambition: to continue involving the people and associations that have helped us resist for over a year and a half in the management of our country’s first socially integrated and sustainable factory.

We have a plan: to reindustrialize the former GKN through the production of photovoltaic panels, batteries and cargo bikes with reduced ecological impact.

We have a dream: to realize this plan without giving up our ambitions, building on the certainties we have gained. It will be the supporters who join this crowdfunding campaign that will give life to the first Italian recovered factory entirely inspired by principles of social and environmental justice.

After a year and a half of struggle, the time has come to produce socially, ecologically and economically sustainable alternatives: help us bring to life the first socially integrated factory experiment in Italy!

If – as they say – the alternative does not exist, we will be the ones to produce it.”

You can contribute to the GKN for future crowdfunding here: