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Workers at Italcementi prepare for a national strike

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20 April, 2016The Italian unions Feneal Uil, Filca Cisl and Cgil Fillea representing Italcementi cement workers, have announced a strike in response to the industrial plan proposed by the government, which may result in 415 dismissals this year and further 250 redundancies in 2017.

On 14 April, Feneal Uil, Filca Cisl and Cgil Fillea met in Rome and committed to go on strike after multinational HeidelbergCement, which declared of a major stake acquisition at Italcementi in July 2015, and released a restructuring plan, failed to address affected workers’ concerns.

After meeting with the government, the unions said in a statement that they “challenged the business plan presented by HeidelbergCement in the press that stipulates the reduction of 415 employees of Bergamo, with 250 additional redundancies (at production sites) which could take place in September 2017".

The unions also denounced the company’s misbehaviour as they failed to attend the meeting organized by the government, where conditions of the industrial plan were to be discussed. The unions prepared a counter-proposal, aiming to significantly decrease the number of redundancies.

The unions presented five demands to the deputy minister of Economy and Development, including:

  • Round table discussion coordinated by the Ministry in the presence of old and new owners, national secretariats of Feneal, Filca and Fillea and the Minister of Labour, to review the presented business plan.
  • Maintaining the technical assistance centre in Bergamo, a measure that could significantly decrease the number of dismissals. Strengthening the research centre as a world centre for product research, already partially accepted by HeidelbergCement, which would allow further decrease of redundancies.
  • Along the same line, the company should create synergies with the region of Lombardy and the technical faculties of the Universities of Bergamo and Milan.
  • HeidelbergCement must confirm they are maintaining the production site assets and the expected employment levels, at least until the end of the transition period concluding in 2020.
  • Providing additional social security protection plan for the entire group, in order to control the relocation processes through active policies (training, retraining, outplacement) with involvement of local institutions. Consequently, the German group will have to re-confirm the agreements signed with Italcementi concerning the social plans on integration and social protection.

The next meeting with the ministry will be at the beginning of May.