The Trade Union of Forlì was born on December 29, 1901 by gathering all workers regardless of their trade. Gifted with a donation of 1.500 Lire, the union was initially established in a location provided by the Council of Forlì in via delle Orfane, today via Anita Garibaldi — the deed of incorporation goes:
“… the Trade Union does not exclusively represent the working classes’ interests, instead it includes and focuses on the interests of the whole country …”
In 1911, as a result of a sharp disagreement on whether to attribute the threshing machine property to day laborers or to sharecrop farmers, an irreparable rift between the socialist and republican components was created, leading to a definitive split.
The Trade Union – of socialist origin – moved to via Aurelio Saffi, today Corso Diaz. However, in the Fascist years, all Trade Unions were closed down and the union activity continued in secrecy.
Immediately after the Liberation of Forlì on November 9, 1944, the Trade Union opened anew its offices in Via delle Torri, above the current Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, the former base of the Sindacato Fascista dell’Industria (the Fascist Trade Union).
A few months later, throughout 1945, the Trade Union of Forlì moved to Piazza Saffi, in Palazzo Albertini that formerly, during the Regime rule, hosted the Facist Party’s headquarter. This event has a great symbolic importance, marking the shift from dictatorship to democracy. Following growing tensions within the union movement started in 1947, in a couple of years the Catholic and Republican components left the united Trade Union — after some denominations, these eventually came to be Cisl and Usl.
At that point, CGIL was still maintaining its offices in Palazzo Albertini. In October 1954, the Scelba Government evicted all organizations from the civic buildings. On October 4, the Trade Union League’s council decided on nonviolent civil disobedience against Scelba’s law. In April 1955, the eviction became executive and the police were designated to force it even by using force and by breaking in the Trade Union offices in Piazza Saffi. That day, once the police was deployed, the League of Cooperatives released a public statement declaring that they would provisionally host the Trade Union offices in their own headquarter. Forlì’s CGIL accepted immediately and a slew of trade unionists marched right through the police with the Trade Union secretary Sergio Flamigni in the lead. They made the move to the League of Cooperatives location in via P. Maroncelli – on the corner of via Hercolani – by manually bringing along chairs and tables; meanwhile, in Piazza del Duomo they were acclaimed by the waiting workers.
On October 21, 1956, the new CGIL headquarter was inaugurated in via P. Maroncelli 34, in a new building, constructed through voluntarism and people’s petitions; the building comprised the Teatro Romagna, which for many decades represented the benchmark of political, social and cultural life of the city. The inauguration leaflet goes: “… This chapter opened two years ago, on the 4th November 1954, on the day that the general council of the Leagues and Trade Unions of our province launched a dramatic appeal to all honest, truthful and democratic workers. The Italian patronage, taking advantage of the Scelba Government, had launched an attack to Italian democracy starting from one of its main cornerstones: Il Sindacato Unitario (the United Trade Union) …” Forlì’s CGIL remained in Via Piero Maroncelli 34 till August 9, 2007 and then moved to Via Pelacano 7; on the plaque at the doorway you can read: “We are grateful and we hold a thought for all the working women and men that, through hard work and sacrifice, in the 50s built the CGIL headquarter in via Piero Maroncelli — making it possible for us to build this new home of ours today.”