L'om


This posed photograph shows compliant Lanerossi [Rossi Woolens] employees at the inauguration of Alessandro Rossi's monument to his weavers in 1878. Socialist employees discretely boycotted the event, which they considered a provocation. Well into the modern era it has served to romanticise Rossi's paternalism towards his workers. Within the last generation one might overhear someone remark at Schio that Rossi was the only capitalist ever to have built a monument to his workforce. [In another era APPM erected a monument to the people of Burnie Tasmania while it was contemplating transfering operations to Indonesia. The dispute which eventually arose took the form of a successful lockout.]

Around the base of the column were chiselled into stone touching homilies such as `Capital the Labour of Yesterday, Labour the Capital of Tomorrow' and `Ready at the Loom for the Family, at the Carbine for the King.' Collectively these made to order cliches exploited family values and the uneducated generosity of the common people to promote acquisitive piety, social subordination and imperialism, precisely the interests of Rossi as an industrial man of property in keeping with the policies he advocated as a Senator of the Realm. This eloquent monument with its unmistakable function of indoctrination originally stood at the entrance to the Schio High Factory. It now stands, fittingly before the church, in the central piazza of Schio. It has long been known colloquially in local dialect as `l'om' `the man' or `the bloke.'

Photo from Franzina ed `Le Classe, gli Uomini e i Partiti'

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