Skip to main content

GKN in Vienna: Connecting climate and worker's struggles

Event Label
Panel discussion
Organisational Units
Art Theory and Cultural Studies
Location Description
University of Applied Arts
Vordere Zollamtstraße 7
1030 Vienna

The event is a cooperation between Academy of Fine Arts (IKW/ MA Critical Studies), University of Applied Arts (Art and Communication Practices), System Change not Climate Change and Arbeiterkammer Wien.

GKN is a guest in Vienna! The former automotive supplier factory GKN in Campi Bisenzio near Florence became a European symbol for socio-ecological transformation from below. Not only did the approximately 500 workers refuse to accept their sudden layoff in the summer of 2021 and have been occupying the factory for over two years, by holding a work meeting ever since. They also established a wide alliance with Fridays for Future, scientists and many other social movements, with which they jointly developed a plan for the social-ecological transformation of the factory. Instead of car components, the future plan is the production of cargo bikes and solar panels - as long as the financings are secured. A shareholder model that would enable workers, the local population and the global climate movement to make joint decisions would be a laboratory for democratic production under ecological conditions.

In a panel discussion we want to learn about the example of GKN, but also find out what the situation is regarding current labour struggles in Austria. Together with Dario Salvetti (works council representatives and worker at GKN), Chantal Turel & Samuel Kammermeier (Aktions- und Streikkomitee BiM), Roland Baumann (Betriebsrat voest, PRO-GE)  we want to seek out possibilities of linking climate and labor struggles, and alliances with science and art, discuss challenges and contradictions, understand the situation of employees in fossil fuel companies and get inspired by the example of GKN.