A small shield with the colors of the Italian flag has appeared on the packs of MS cigarettes. Before, when the cigarettes were manufactured in Italy, there was no shield. Today, after British American Tobacco has sacked thousands of workers and moved its production to Romania and to Germany, appears this flag, together with a little pro-Italian explanation paper….
Everybody, with no exceptions is a victim of the metropolitan legend that affirms that MS cigarettes are made in Italy with Italian tobaccos and British American Tobacco seems to be doing all it can to reinforce this belief. The curious wording “Prodotte in EU con tabacchi selezionati” (manufactured in the EU with selected tobaccos) appears together with the Italian emblem. Even if formally unexceptionable, it seems to be another ambiguous novelty: if the tobaccos are so “selected”, why doesn’t BAT let us know where these tobaccos come from?
The attorneys of Yesmoke S.p.A., the Italian company that manufactures cigarettes in Italy and pays taxes down to the last euro, asked BAT to interrupt the distribution of the “Champions of Italy” packs. BAT replied that it is not violating any law and warned Yesmoke to stop all “denigrating activities” against the company.
Is it, perhaps, forbidden to say that BAT has “delocalized” its production of MSs to Romania and Germany, and that one of the advantages of this delocalization is the possibility to elude Italian taxes? Does BAT want its cigarettes to seem Italian even more than when they were actually produced in Italy. Does it want people to think that its cigarettes are still made in the plants that it dismantled, like the ones in Lecce, Rovereto, Bologna and many others, where the promises made to the workers have not been kept?
Maybe BAT won the champions’ shield for the best “delocalization”, because it has always succeeded in doing what it wants in spite of the protest of the world of workers. It has repeated the same scenario in all its factories and it has left to the Italian people the costs of its failure to reconvert the plants and provide re-employment for its workers.
- Riconversione Bat, Bellanova: «A un anno dall'accordo restano solo tracce sbiadite» – Il Paese Nuovo – 13 marzo 2012 (ITA)
- Ex manifattura tabacchi, Pdl: garantire occupazione – 24Emilia – 24 marzo 2012 (ITA)