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The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies. The economic crisis caused major restructurings, plant closures and job losses. The government, local authorities and social partners reacted by launching an extraordinary programme for , in order to support workers in difficulties.

The measures concerned dependent employees, excluding self-employed workers, and marginally affecting quasi-subordinate workers. The government in office is a centre-right coalition headed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Administrative elections were held on 6 and 7 June , simultaneously with the European elections. The most important municipalities in which voting took place were Bologna, Florence and Bari, where the centre-left gained the majority. The largest provinces were Milan and Venice, where the centre-right won, and Turin, where the centre-left prevailed.

From the point of view of electoral trends, there were no significant differences with respect to the general elections, with substantial confirmation of majority consensus for the centre-right coalition. In July the first strikes began at Termini Imerese Sicily against the decision by Fiat to halt car production at the Sicilian plant. There were deaths, and more than casualties, with huge damage to towns and villages. In June two railway wagons transporting gas exploded at the station of Viareggio Tuscany : 31 people living in nearby houses lost their lives.

Finally, in October, in a village close to Messina Sicily a landslide swept a number houses away causing 35 deaths. The majority of the Italian electorate will be voting. There is no doubt that these elections will be an important test of the new political balance in the country.

Cgil refused to sign the agreement on the grounds that it abrogated the agreement of July ITF , ITF , ITN which pivoted on the inflation rate forecast by the government. The new model adopted a new forecast index calculated by a third party on the basis of European parameters IPCA indices net of energy costs.

Moreover, again according to the reform, wages lost in national industry-wide bargaining in comparison with the real inflation rate would be recovered in supplementary or decentralized bargaining through company-level bargaining or territorial agreements this last for medium-sized and small firms without company-level agreements.

Finally, the duration of nation-wide sectoral agreements CCNL was fixed at 3 years, for both the legal and economic parts previously, the duration of the legal part had been 4 years, with 2 years for the economic part.

Following the agreement, renewal of expired CCNLs was, at least initially, very difficult. Separate bargaining platforms were put forward for agreement renewals by the trade-union confederations, with Cisl and Uil on the one side, and Cgil on the other, both adhering to their positions and unable to settle their differences and to adopt a unitary list of claims.

Despite these initial difficulties, the final part of the year saw a united front among Cgil, Cisl and Uil in regard to the renewal of important agreements, such as for the food industry ITI , telecommunications ITI and the chemicals sector ITI , where the Cgil federations accepted the extension of the economic part of the agreement from 2 to 3 years as foreseen by the reform. In fact, after an initial breakdown in the system, the social partners, in particular the unions, were able to resolve their differences and to unite on renewal of most agreements with the important exception, in the private sector, of that for metalworkers.

As regards the public sector, which was not affected by the reform in that it applied to private firms, there were separate agreements signed in January for the employees of ministries, schools, universities, tax agencies and non-economic public bodies. These were signed by Cisl and Uil, but not by Cgil, which criticised the inadequacy of the pay increases with respect to the real inflation rate ITI.

In early June, by contrast, Cgil, Cisl and Uil all signed the agreement for public-sector employees in the autonomous regions. From the quantitative point of view, again saw a significant downturn compared with previous years in the number of agreements signed.

As regards , at the time of writing of this report February CNEL data had not been updated, therefore the final figure may vary. The CNEL has not yet adopted in its classification system of agreements the changes introduced by the reform, which fixes the validity of agreements at 3 years for both the economic and legal parts.

There is no archive of agreements stipulated at company level. The most significant company-level agreements signed during were the following: Marzotto, Piaggio not signed by Fiom-Cgil , Fincantieri signed subsequently by Fiom-Cgil , St Microelectronics, Alenia Aermacchi, Benetton.

Such increases were justified in different ways by the unions. While the Cgil claimed that they were above the level foreseen by the IPCA calculation the European index taken as the benchmark by the reform, not signed by Cgil, as regards wage adjustments , Cisl and Uil declared that the new calculation system introduced in January had been correctly applied and that if the increases were higher, this was due to other items added to the final sum.

In recent years, the trend in bargaining on working time has been to increase, or to facilitate, the flexibility of normal working hours and to raise the annual ceiling. For example, the renewed agreement of the chemicals sector increased weekly working time from In the large-scale retail sector, the tendency is to extend compulsory Sunday work to a significant number of Sundays through annual scheduling. The aim of the modifications concerning workplace health and safety was to prioritize prevention and to increase sanctions.

No changes occurred in industrial relations as far as the role of the social partners is concerned. The discussion will centre on two contrasting policy documents: the first for the majority put forward by the general secretary, Guglielmo Epifani, the second for the minority by Fiom and the Public Service Union Fonzione Pubblica , FP-CGIL respectively representing metalworkers and public-sector employees, the most important Cgil affiliates.

This division is symptomatic of the concerns of the executive of Cgil the most representative union in the country , which was opposed to the policies adopted by the other unions, Cisl and Uil, and which, during , appeared isolated within the Italian industrial relations system. What unites the two documents and the Cgil executive is instead their demand for a law on trade-union representation as an antidote against possible separate agreements in the future the law should preclude the signing of agreements with general validity by insufficiently representative unions.

Last year was certainly characterized by a significant number of strikes largely caused by the decisions of several companies to close plants in Italy as part of their restructuring plans. The most important conflict of was at the Fiat plant of Termini Imerese still ongoing caused by the decision of the Turin parent company to discontinue car production at the Sicilian site.

From the month of July onwards, the workforce organised a series of protest actions against the decision and also to induce arbitration of the dispute by the local and national institutions. No legislation was introduced during to regulate the right to strike.

The year was characterised by the increasing tendency to attract the attention of the media and public opinion by organising more visible forms of protest such as climbing industrial cranes hundreds of metres high. Similar episodes became increasingly frequent during the year. The main causes are the economic crisis and corporate restructurings.

One of the most important restructurings as mentioned above is that announced by Fiat ITI of its Sicilian plant at Termini Imerese, which has around employees, added to which are workers at subcontracting firms. The dispute has induced intervention by local Sicilian regional government and national Ministry of Economic Development institutions. Another significant corporate restructuring is that at Electrolux, where in May an agreement was reached on redundancies at the Porcia plant in Veneto.

In December the Marazzi group ceramics sector announced that it was placing employees on the extraordinary wages guarantee fund. A sector particularly hard hit in by corporate restructurings was telecommunications. In July, Telecom, the largest Italian telecommunications group, reached an agreement with the sectoral trade unions to convert redundancies into job-security agreement ITI.

In March, the Swedish multinational Ericsson signed an agreement with the unions on incentives for voluntary redundancies. Of opposite outcome were negotiations with the Italian group Eutelia, which employs more than workers and which in December was placed in receivership not having paid wages for months.

The data on the crisis for have been particularly alarming. Added to these were the around , precarious workers whose contracts were not renewed, and other job losses. For these reasons, a number of measures were adopted to tackle the emergency. Then, with the purpose of operationalizing the contents of the previous agreements, signed in May were the framework agreements between the Regions and the social partners of that Region. The innovations are the extensions of the wages guarantee fund in the case of lay-offs and mobility allowances following dismissals due to company crises to enterprises previously excluded: industrial firms with fewer than 15 employees, commercial ones with fewer than 50 employees, crafts firms, and cooperatives.

Such support is conditional on attendance by the workers concerned on vocational retraining courses. Eurofound, Wyattville Road, Loughlinstown, Co. Brussels, Belgium eurofound. Eurofound is an agency of the European Union. Skip to main content. Published on: 10 January Back to working life country profiles. Political developments The government in office is a centre-right coalition headed by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Collective bargaining developments was a particularly difficult year as regards collective bargaining.

Table 1. Working time In recent years, the trend in bargaining on working time has been to increase, or to facilitate, the flexibility of normal working hours and to raise the annual ceiling.

Legislative developments was not a year of significant legislation by parliament or the government concerning the world of work and industrial relations, with the exception of the above-mentioned agreement reforming the bargaining system although this in fact was an agreement between the social partners, not a state law and the anti-crisis measures related to the social shock absorbers on which see point 7.

Organisation and role of the social partners No changes occurred in industrial relations as far as the role of the social partners is concerned. Impact of economic downturn The data on the crisis for have been particularly alarming.

Other relevant developments No other relevant developments in industrial relations are reported for Tell us what you think. Hide comments. Leave this field blank.


Italy: Wage flexibility and collective bargaining.

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist in the development of better social, employment and work-related policies. Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited or approved by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors. The current bargaining system in Italy introduced by the Agreement of 23 July divides collective bargaining between a national level intended to recoup inflation and a decentralized level to distribute earnings from productivity or profitability. The largest proportion of the variable pay received by Italian workers pertains to this second level of bargaining. Decentralized bargaining, however, covers less than half of all workers. The pay system for workers in both the banking and manufacturing sectors consists of a fixed part, and a variable part to which, in some cases, fringe benefits are added.


Italy: EIRO Annual Review - 2009



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