On 19 April 2016, meeting in Rome, trade unions representing Finmeccanica workers established a new global network to coordinate and build workers’ power.
This Italian multinational company represents 70 per cent of the aerospace and defence industries in Italy and also has important production in the UK, USA, France, Germany, Spain, Poland, Australia, Canada and elsewhere.
Around 38 per cent of the total workforce of 47,000 is organized in IndustriALL affiliates. The company has gone through a period of restructuring. Now the unified company, established in its current form as of 1 January 2016, will have a unified workforce as an international counterpart.
IndustriALL Global Union Aerospace Director Brian Kohler welcomed the new network:
“The Action Plan adopted by this group today sets out a structure and joint programme that will conduct social dialogue with Finmeccanica across borders. First we call on the company to establish a proper European Works Council in line with its legal obligations and then also to recognize our global network through addressing our common concerns.”
Those common concerns include:
- Education, training and knowledge transfer
- Recruitment of younger and women workers
- Business strategy - sustainable industrial strategy
- Equal treatment of workers within the Finmeccanica Group
- Subcontracting and the practice of social dumping
- Research and development
- Future product assurance
- Precarious work
The new Finmeccanica brings together different cultures and relationships with unions, and this network will now put the company’s commitment to labour standards to the test.
The issue of an ageing workforce is common in all countries and the unions are calling for investment in training and research into new technology to ensure sustainable jobs.
Hosted by Italian affiliates FIM-CISL, FIOM-CGIL and UILM-UIL, the initiative follows a decision by the IndustriALL World Aerospace Conference in Berlin, 2015.
The aerospace and defence industries as a whole is forecasted to grow over the coming years, and continues to be majorly important in the global economy, employing 8.7 million people directly and creating a total of 58.1 million jobs.
During the meeting, in the context of the discussion on trade and China, the meeting participants expressed their solidarity and support with European and British steel workers.
The group also expressed solidarity with metalworkers of FIM, FIOM, and UILM who will conduct a national strike on 20 April 2016 rejecting an insulting offer from the Italian employers' association in collective bargaining.