Simone, a factory worker, is married to Margherita and has two children. The day he loses his job, he also finds out that Margherita has been having an affair with Sergio, a union representative at Simone's workplace. Simone is a desperate man and climbs to the top of the factory chimney to protest against being fired. His story captures the attention of the media and politicians who all see a personal potential for profit in "adopting" Simone's cause. Simone becomes an unwilling and unwitting symbol.