The Italian Factory Occupations of 1920
When 600,000 workers seized control of their workplaces
Year Published: 1988
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX9142
During the month of September, 1920, a widespread occupation of Italian factories by their workforces took place, which originated in the auto factories, steel mills and machine tool plants of the metal sector but spread out into many other industries: cotton mills and hosiery firms, lignite mines, tire factories, breweries and distilleries, and steamships and warehouses in the port towns. But this was not a sit-down strike; the workers continued production with their own in-plant organization. And railway workers, in open defiance of the management of the state-owned railways, shunted freight cars between the factories to enable production to continue. At its height about 600,000 workers were involved.