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FIOM representatives are back at FIAT

4 September, 2013Long lasting discrimination of the IndustriALL Italian affiliate FIOM-CGIL has come to an end at FIAT.

On 2 September 2013 the Italian carmaker FIAT sent a letter to FIOM, inviting them to appoint their union representatives at the enterprise. The decision resulted from a continuous fight by the FIOM in numerous court cases for nearly three years.

The culmination of the solution of the conflict became the Constitutional Court’s corner stone decision dated to 23 July which declared that unions should not be discriminated based on their decision to refuse signing a collective agreement. The Court stated of the necessity to review Article 19 of Italian labour law, the Statute of Workers.

In fact Article 19 of the above mentioned Statute contained the text, which was supposed to provide a stimulus for minority unions to get their union representatives at the enterprise through the signature of the agreement. According to FIOM reports what happened was that FIAT had treated the text in a controversial way affirming that, in case a union, even representing the majority of employees, refused to sign a collective agreement proposed by the employer, it could not form a union representation any longer.

This approach allowed FIAT to exclude FIOM from workers’ councils and deny FIOM the permission for assembly and for any union activities inside the company facilities.

After the invitation to appoint a union representative, the FIOM proudly looks forward to the work in the future and Maurizio Landini, Secretary General of the FIOM-CGIL, comments, " Fiom returned to the factory by the front door. Now Fiat removes all forms of discrimination and faces the real issue: the future production and employment of the Group in Italy."

FIAT nevertheless cautioned that a law on union representation should be developed in order to keep investment in the country.