Italian metalworkers reach a new national collective agreement

02.12.2016

On 26 November, after 13 months of negotiations and a 20-hour strike, a new provisional national collective agreement has been reached between IndustriALL affiliates FIOM-CGIL, FIM-CISL and UILM-UIL and the employers’ associations Federmeccanica / Assistal, thus ending an era of separate agreements.

1 December all three unions FIOM-CGIL, FIM-CISL and UILM-UIL had a meeting and issued a joint statement, calling the newly achieved agreement “a good contract for metalworkers”.
 
The agreement, valid for four years, will cover the entire metalworking sector and apply to over 1.6 million workers employed in the sector. The national agreement is an umbrella contract, which guarantees a minimum set of benefits. Unions will be able to negotiate further improved benefits at the plant level. The agreement will now be submitted by the three unions to assemblies in working-places and finally to a binding referendum on 19, 20 and 21 December.
 among all workers concerned.
 
According to the new regulation for union representation, workers are granted the right to vote on company agreements, also upon request of only one trade union or 30 per cent of workers. This has always been part of the practice at FIOM, but never been implemented on a common basis until now.
 
The unions called the agreement “highly innovative” as “it expands and acquires new rights, from continuous training and the right to education up to the reform of grading system, from supplementary assistance for healthcare for all, to supplementary pension schemes, up to an easier operation of health and safety union representatives in the workplace”.
 
The newly achieved agreement strengthens bargaining and participation, it also protects income from inflation and strengthens the welfare, making strides in overall benefits for metalworkers, defines the rules of democracy and representation between unions, members and workers.
 
Maurizio Landini, general secretary of FIOM-CGIL, praised the agreement as the “newly found unity of the workers", as FIOM-CGILdid not sign the contract renewals either in 2008, or in 2012."The reached agreement does not present any kind of improper trading, instead it broadens rights, goes beyond inflation in its overall cost structure, introduces a democratic path in the national agreement that has always been a central demand for our organization."
 
Marco Bentivogli, general secretary of FIM-CISL,"We have regained trade union unity, and we did it with a truly innovative contract. The hardest thing is to draw a document that would look into the future. This time we did it."
 
Rocco Palombella, general secretary of UILM-UIL, "We have put in the center the value of the CCNL (National labour contract), we have stimulated the results of the second contractual level, we have determined management elements and related testing."
 
Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary welcomed the great result of the achieved agreement, saying “We congratulate FIOM-CGIL, FIM-CISL and UILM-UIL with a great achievement of their new agreement, but we are especially glad to hear that this was a joint exercise of solidarity restoring unity to all Italian metalworkers.”