Half a million textile, garment, and footwear workers in Italy are on a general strike today, 13 January, demanding the renewal of the national labour contracts. A demonstration was held in Florence, coinciding with one of Italy’s major fashion events, Pitti Uomo.
Negotiations on the renewal of labour contracts for Italy’s garment industry for the period of 2016 – 2019 have been delayed for more than ten months.
Trade unions are calling on the employers to return to the negotiating table and agree on the renewal of the labor contracts, which should comply with national and international labor standards.
Union representatives say that is imperative that employers refrain from trying to impose conditions, such as a wage model that would only contemplate salary increases after the expiration of the three-year contract period, or contractual flexibility, that would seriously impinge on fundamental workers’ rights.
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Valter Sanches says that IndustriALL fully supports the legitimate demands of the Italian workers:
We stand firm in solidarity with the 500,000 textile, garment, and footwear workers in Italy on their general strike. We urge the employers to speedily engage in a meaningful dialogue with the unions, ensuring that their rights are met.