There are more trade unionists in Italy than in any other country in the EU. But with almost half the membership made up of pensioners, overall union density among employees is around a third. There are three main union confederations – CGIL, CISL and UIL – whose divisions were initially based on political differences, although these have become less clear over time.
Italian trade unions have more than 12 million members, perhaps as many as 15 million. However, a high proportion of them are retired ( more than one in four – 43% – across the three largest confederations). Taking this into account, the ICTWSS database of union membership put union density at 34.4% in 2018.
There are three main trade union confederations in Italy, although there are also others. The largest is the CGIL, which has 5,518,774 members, although only 2,772,928 of them are employed. The second biggest is CISL with 4,079,490 members, of whom 2,379,871 are employed, and the third largest is UIL, which has 1,966,301 members of whom 1,395,235 are employed (figures for 2017 for CGIL, 2019 for CISL and 2018 for UIL).
In the past these three union confederations had fairly clear political affiliations. CGIL was close to the Communist Party; CISL was created by Catholic trade unionists who were also active in the Christian Democratic Party, while UIL was closest to the Socialist Party. However, changes in the political structure (none of these parties still exist in their previous form) and changes within the confederations mean that this political categorisation is no longer appropriate.
Despite this, there are differences of approach between the three confederations, and, in general, CGIL has taken a more combative approach to governments and to the employers than the other two. For example, in 2017, CGIL was alone in its campaign for a referendum against what they saw as the abuse of a government-backed voucher scheme for occasional work. CISL and UIL also opposed the scheme but wanted to find a resolution through negotiations with the employers. However, the sharp disagreements between CGIL on one side and CISL and UIL on the other, which characterised the period running from at least 2009 to 2013, appear to have disappeared. Recently all three have presented a common front on the previously contentious issue of collective bargaining (see section on collective bargaining).
There are other groupings of trade unions outside these dominant confederations. Three, UGL, CISAL and CONFSAL, have seats, alongside the main confederations in the consultative National Council for Economics and Labour (CNEL), which is an indication of their .
The UGL, formerly called CISNAL states that it has 1.9 million members, although this number is disputed by other confederations, and it operates on the right of the political spectrum. In the past, it was close to Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, but in January 2018 it signed a cooperation agreement with the right-wing League (LEGA) party, which the League’s general secretary, Matteo Salvini, described as “historic”.
In contrast CISAL and CONFSAL, which are both groupings of autonomous unions, emphasise their party-political neutrality. CISAL, which in the past claimed 1.7m has particular strength in the public sector and finance.One of its largest affiliates is the banking union FABI, which announced at its congress in 2018 that it had 110,000 members. CISAL states on its website that it is “free from party politics”.
CONFSAL, which was created in 1979 through the merger of two groups of autonomous unions SNALS and UNSA, emphasises on its website that it offers an “alternative to ideological trade unionism”. In 2010 it stated that it had 1.8 million members.
In addition, there are unions not attached to any confederation and unions representing managers, such as CIDA and Unionquadri. There are also the "cobas", groups of rank-and-file workers working in specific areas such as the railways or the airlines, who have frequently been involved in industrial action. These groupings certainly add to the total of union members, although the numbers claimed by some of the confederations seem exaggerated.
Overall, trade union representation in Italy has become increasingly fragmented in the last 20 to 30 years, particularly in the public sector and transport. ARAN, the agency which represents the state in its capacity as an employer, collects data on the number of unions and union membership across the public sector. Figures published at the start of 2019 show that, for example, there were 284,068 union members in the area of health (excluding more senior staff). Unions in the three main confederations accounted for almost two-thirds (62.7%), but more than a third were in other unions, with 11.5% in a CONFSAL affiliate, 9.5% in a nursing union which is part of a new public sector confederation, CGS, and 8.6% in another nursing union. The remaining 9.7% were in 108 other smaller unions.
The three main confederations are all organised in the same way on an industry basis, with separate industry federations for metalworking, the public sector, telecommunications, construction and so on. CGIL is the strongest of the three in manufacturing industry, while the strongholds of both CISL and UIL are the public services, although here too CGIL has a level of support comparable to that for CISL. The importance and independence of the industrial federations varies, but some, in particular FIOM, the metalworking federation in CGIL, play an influential role.
After a period of steady growth in the first ten years of the millennium, the picture for trade union membership in Italy has recently been more mixed, with pensioner membership falling across all three main confederations. From 2010 until the latest year for which figures are available, the number of retired members has fallen by 7.6% in CGIL (up to 2017), 22.8% in CISL (up to 2019) and 0.8% in UIL (up to 2018).
Membership of those still active in the labour market, on the other hand, has grown in all three confederations over the same period, although, on the basis of the confederations’ figures, the economically active membership of UIL has grown more rapidly than in the other two confederations, although this may also reflect differences in the period covered. Between 2010 and 2017 the economically active membership of CGIL increased by 4.2%, from 2,661,183 to 2,772,928; in CISL between 2010 and 2019 it also increased by 4.2% from 2,284,045 in 2010 to 2,379,871; but in UIL, between 2010 and 2018, the increase was higher at 7.6%, going from 1,296,318 to 1,395,235.
In CGIL and CISL, women make up around half the membership: 48.1% in CGIL and 48.7% in CISL, but the proportion of women in UIL is slightly lower at 41.0%.
 Jelle Visser, ICTWSS Data base. Version 6.1. Amsterdam: Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies AIAS. October 2019)
 All figures from union websites: CGIL: http://www.cgil.it/i-tesserati-2014/ CISL: https://www.cisl.it/primo-piano/15102-sindacato-cisl-crescono-nel-2019-gli-iscritti-piu-29-000-aumentano-i-lavoratori-attivi-di-oltre-40-000-associati-il-44-88-degli-associati-sono-donne.html
UIL: http://www.uil.it/tesseramento_cat.asp (All accessed 20.03.2020) The total figure for UIL excludes 307,020 double affilaitions)
 See Sindacati, nella messe di dati confusi una certezza: quasi metà degli iscritti non lavora più, Il fatto quotidiano, 4 April 2017 https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2017/04/29/sindacati-nella-messe-di-dati-confusi-una-certezza-quasi-meta-degli-iscritti-non-lavora-piu/3550331/ (Accessed 24.03.2020)
 See L’Ugl diventa la succursale (e il magazzino) della Lega di Salvini, Sassate, 3 January 2018 https://www.sassate.it/ugl-succursale-lega-salvini/ (Accessed 24.03. 2020) and Accordo tra l'Ugl e la Lega di Matteo Salvini. Per il sindacato è l'ultima tappa di un viaggio nelle anime del centrodestra, Huffington Post,3 January 2018 https://www.huffingtonpost.it/2018/01/03/accordo-tra-lugl-e-la-lega-di-matteo-salvini-per-il-sindacato-e-lultima-tappa-di-un-viaggio-nelle-anime-del-centrodestra_a_23322652/ (Accessed 24.03.2020)
 See https://www.fabi.it/public/documenti/comunicazione-e-immagine/2018_03_09_CommImmagine_CommStampa_Eletti_XXICN.pdf (Accessed 24.03.2020)
 See Quanti sono gli iscritti al sindacato in Italia? http://www.confsaluniversita.it/files/all_1_not_24_con_tabelle.pdf (Accessed 24.03.2020)
 Accertamento provvisorio della rappresentatività: Triennio 2019-202,ARAN, 2019 https://www.aranagenzia.it/attachments/category/7601/TABELLE%20ACCERTAMENTO%20PROVVISORIO%20RAPPRESENTATIVITA'%20TRIENNIO%202019-2021.pdf (Accessed 24.03.2020)
 ETUC Annual Gender Equality Survey 2019 – 12th edition, by Lionel Fulton and Cinzia Sechi, ETUC, April 2019 https://www.etuc.org/sites/default/files/circular/file/2019-05/ETUC_Annual_Equality_Survey%202019_FINAL_EN.pdf and https://www.cisl.it/primo-piano/15102-sindacato-cisl-crescono-nel-2019-gli-iscritti-piu-29-000-aumentano-i-lavoratori-attivi-di-oltre-40-000-associati-il-44-88-degli-associati-sono-donne.html (Accessed 25.03.2020)
Collective bargaining in the private sector in Italy primarily takes place at two levels – industry level and company level. However, recently changes to the system have potentially strengthened company-level bargaining, while the number of agreements signed by non-representative bodies has grown.
Collective bargaining in Italy primarily takes place at two levels: at industry level – the most important – and at company or, sometimes, district level. In addition, national level agreements between employers and union have been used to implement EU-level initiatives – such as the agreement on teleworking.
As well as dealing with specific issues, national level agreements between the unions, employers and the government, have also provided a framework for collective bargaining. In July 1993, a key agreement radically reformed the system as it existed up to that point. The 1993 agreement restructured the links between industry and company level bargaining, laid the basis for a new system of workplace representation (see section on workplace representation) and finally ended the system of pay indexation - linking pay to prices - the “scala mobile”. Other national agreements since then have also made major changes.
The main elements of the negotiating structure are as follows.
Industry level negotiations are intended to ensure that pay keeps pace with prices and should set increases that take account of expected inflation. In addition, industry level negotiations deal with a wide range of non-pay issues such as hours and holidays, leave, information rights and work organisation.
Pay negotiations at company level should provide a mechanism for the employees to take account of particular company-level developments, such as improved productivity on the one hand or the risk of job losses on the other. In addition, company level negotiations also deal with changes introduced by the company such as the introduction of new working methods. Union-employer framework agreements and legislative changes have, since 2011, increased the importance of company level bargaining in the regulation of a range of issues.
As well as company-level bargaining it is also possible for this lower level of bargaining to be conducted for several employers on a district or regional basis. This has occurred to a limited extent, particularly in construction, tourism, crafts and agriculture.
Negotiations in the public sector are broadly similar with unions conducting detailed negotiations with a special government agency Aran. However, the government sets the economic parameters for the negotiations, and, following the 2008 financial crisis, it introduced legislation to freeze public sector pay, resulting in eight years without an increase. There are also no local level negotiations in the public sector.
There are no official statistics on the coverage of collective bargaining, but an ETUI study on collective bargaining in Italy, published in 2019, stated that estimates of coverage had been “consistently stable at around 80 per cent of all employees”. However, this figure is for overall coverage at industry level. Bargaining at company level, to improve or complement the industry-level agreements – as foreseen by the July 1993 agreement – is much less common. Recent estimates suggest that only 30-40 percent of the workforce in the private sector is covered by company level agreements.
There is no mechanism for extending collective agreements to employees not directly covered by them. However, the courts will often refer to the minimum wage levels set in the relevant industry-level collective agreement in individual cases where they are asked to judge whether pay conforms to the constitutional requirement for pay to be “commensurate with the quality and quantity of their work.”
The bargaining framework set up in 1993 came under pressure in the mid-noughties, with the employers calling for bargaining to be made more decentralised and for more importance to be given to company-level bargaining. A series of agreements revising the rules have followed. However, because initially the three main confederations adopted differing positions, two important agreements in 2009 were only signed by CISL and UIL on the union side.
The first major outline agreement on the structure of collective bargaining was signed in January 2009 by CISL and UIL, and, subsequently, the smaller confederation, UGL. This was followed, in April 2009, by a more detailed agreement specifying the rules for the new system in the industrial sector.
This agreement, which was also not signed by CGIL:
- changed the length of time that industry-level agreements run, from four years to three years;
- linked pay increases to the forecast European harmonised consumer price index for Italy, excluding energy consumption, and introduced a new wage guarantee element (“elemento di garanzia retributiva”, EGR”), for companies without company-level bargaining; and
- changed the negotiating timetable, prohibiting strikes during the last six months of an agreement and in the month after its expiry.
Despite CGIL’s opposition to the 2009 framework agreement, most industry agreements since then have reflected the key elements of the deal, such as the three year term, and have been signed by the industry federations of all the three main union confederations, CGIL, CISL and UIL.
The main exception was the agreement for the metalworking industry, which was twice (in 2009 for the period 2010-12 and in 2012 for the period 2013-15) only signed by the FIM (the CISL affiliate in the metalworking industry) and UILM (which belongs to UIL) but not by FIOM, the CGIL affiliate in the metalworking industry. However, in 2016 unions from all three confederations signed the next metalworking deal.
The next national agreement with the main employer’s association, Confindustria, in June 2011 was signed by all three main confederations. It set out clear rules for company-level agreements, whose “development and extension” were seen as “a common objective” of all the signatory parties, and permitted company-level agreements to improve or worsen the terms of the industry-level agreement, provided that this possibility has been allowed for in the industry-level agreement itself.
After taking different positions on a productivity document in produced in 2012, all three confederations signed a draft agreement on representativeness, with Confindustria on 31 May 2013. The detailed agreement implementing this draft, which was signed on 10 January 2014 – also by all three main confederations, contained (unlike the draft) a specific section on the respective roles of industry and company bargaining, as well as setting out who was entitled to negotiate and sign agreements. This repeated the position set out in the 2011 agreement that company agreements could modify industry agreements (including worsening them), but only if the industry-level agreement itself permitted this.
The January 2014 agreement also stated that where the industry-level agreement did not contain provisions allowing such modifications, they could still be agreed at company level in the areas of work performance, working hours and work organisation, in order to deal with “crisis situations or where there is significant investment benefitting the company’s economic or employment development.” (This had already been included in the 2011 agreement.)
This agreement was followed in February 2014 by a parallel agreement with the service sector’s employers’ association Confservizi, and identical but separate texts were also signed by the smaller union confederations, UGL, CISAL and CONFSAL.
In 2017 and 2018, further agreements were signed between the unions and the employers on the arrangements for measuring union support, and therefore their right to negotiate and sign collective agreements. Finally, in September 2019, the three main union confederations and Confindustria reached agreement with the state social insurance body INPS and the labour inspectorate, on the collection of union membership data, which will be used together with information on support for unions in workplace elections, to determine unions’ representativeness and their right to negotiate.
However, although these agreements indicate that unions and the major employers’ associations have now developed and agreed a common and detailed set of rules governing bargaining, this does not mean that they are universally applied. This is because they only bind employers and unions who are members of the organisations, and increasingly agreements are signed by organisations outside the normal structures. Between 2008 and 2019, the number of private sector industry-level agreements registered with the official National Council for Economics and Labour (CNEL) increased from 308 to 824.
In November 2017, the CNEL president estimated that only around 300 of these agreements could be considered “regular”. The remining two-thirds were signed between non-representative employers’ association and unions which also were not representative, and set terms and conditions below those in agreements signed by the main confederations. Although the numbers covered by such “pirate” agreements remain relatively low, their existence, in the view of the president of INPS, “ends by damaging workers and the majority of companies which are in a sound position and respectful of the rights of their own employees”.
Alongside the developing relations between unions and employers, set out above, governments have in recent years intervened much more to set the bargaining rules, always to the benefit of greater local flexibility.
In September 2011, the government of Silvio Berlusconi introduced legislation that permitted company agreements not just to agree worse terms than those set by industry agreements, irrespective of what the industry agreements themselves said, but also to undercut the minimum terms set in national legislation on a range of issues.  These included working time, flexible employment contracts, recruitment procedures, work organisation and job classification and the introduction of new technology.
In 2015 in the Jobs Act, the government of Matteo Renzi increased the influence of local bargaining by giving company-level or local area agreements the same rights as industry-level agreements to make changes to legal rules in a range of areas.
This is a contrast to the past, when the rules for collective bargaining were largely determined by the unions and employers themselves and the role of government was limited. However, it now seem that it is only legislation that will enable the national agreements between the main union confederations and the main employers’ associations to be enforced and the pirate agreements to be eliminated. The government of Giuseppe Conte promised to introduce legislation to do this in September 2019, when the agreement with INPS was signed, but, as of March 2020, this had not yet materialised.
Who negotiates and when?
Negotiations at industry level typically involve the employers’ federations and the industrial federations within the major confederations. In most cases, the industrial federations from all three main confederations agree a common platform of demands and sign the final agreement jointly. For a period, this was not the case in the metalworking industry, where in 2009 and 2012 agreements were not signed by the CGIL federation FIOM, the biggest federation involved. But, with the agreement signed in 2016, this ceased to be the case, with unions from all three confederations backing the deal.
Until fairly recently there were no rules on representativeness, governing who was entitled to sign industry-level agreements. However, a series of agreements signed since January 2014 (see above) aim to provide a framework for assessing representativeness and determining which unions have a right to be involved in negotiations at industry level and to sign agreements, although it is important to emphasise that without legal backing – which currently does not exist – these rules do not apply in all cases. (These agreements also cover representativeness at company level – see below.)
Taken together, the agreements set out a new “representativeness” threshold, based on a combination of membership (the percentage of union members in the industry who belong to that particular union) and broader support (the percentage of votes given to that union in elections for workplace union committees which are known as the RSU). Union membership data is to be provided by companies as part of their existing declarations to the social security body INPS, and the election results are to be collected by INPS and the labour inspectorate. The level of representativeness – the representativeness score – is worked out by INPS taking an average of these two percentages.
Under these rules, a union can participate in negotiations if, in the industry concerned, it has a representativeness score of at least 5% and an agreement is valid if it is signed by unions with a representativeness score of at least 50% plus one in the industry. In addition, the agreement must be ratified by a simple majority of the workers involved, using rules set out in the agreement concerned. Once ratified in this way, the agreement becomes binding on both unions and employers.
However, although these rules have been agreed by the main union confederations and the main employers’ associations, they have not yet come into effect as the mechanism for collecting the information necessary to work out unions’ representativeness’ scores was only agreed with INPS in September 2019. They will also not have universal effect in the private sector as employers and unions which do not belong to the signatory organisations, are not obliged to follow the rules. As well as smaller employers signing so-called “pirate” agreements with unions with few members (see above), the major motor manufacturer FCA (formerly FIAT) is also not covered by these rules, as FIAT left Confindustria, the main employers’ organisation, in 2011.
The situation is different in the public sector, where there has been legislation fixing who has the right to bargaining since 1997.This is very similar to the rules now agreed with INPS, and requires a 5% representativeness score to take part in negotiations, and the support of unions with a combined 51% representativeness score for an agreement to be valid. The score is calculated as an average of membership and union support in workplace elections.
At company level it is the elected union committee, the RSU, which normally negotiates, although very often full-time officials from the unions are also involved.
As in the case of industry-level bargaining, the agreements on representativeness, particularly that signed in January 2014, have set out new rules on who can sign the agreements – as well as the composition of the RSU (see section on workplace representation).
These agreements state that, where there is an RSU, a company agreement is valid if approved by a majority of RSU members. In companies, where the union representatives have been appointed directly by the unions – the union body in this structure is known as an RSA – slightly different rules apply. Here, the agreement must be approved by representatives, who together or separately have the support of a majority of union members in the company. In addition, all employees can be required to vote on the agreement if this is called for by either one of the unions involved or 30% of the workforce. For this vote to be valid more than 50% of those eligible to vote must take part and the agreement can be rejected by a simple majority of those voting.
The timetable for negotiations, as set out in the 1993 agreement, was that industry level negotiations on pay should take place every two years, and that on non-pay issues they should take place every four years. However, this changed following an agreement signed by CISL and UIL, but not CGIL, in 2009. Industry agreements now run for three years, covering both pay and conditions issues.
There are often lengthy delays – sometimes of months or years – between the date an agreement runs out and the date the next agreement is signed and there is compensation for this in the final agreement in the form of lump-sum payments. The figures from the national statistics office ISTAT, for December 2019 show that at that point 44.6% of employees were waiting for their agreements to be renewed and that the average length of time these employees were waiting was 20.4 months. The largest group of workers waiting for a new agreement to be negotiated in December 2019 were in the public sector.
Company level negotiations should also take place once every three years.
The subject of the negotiations
As noted above, collective agreements in Italy cover a wide range of issues. At industry level, they set minimum pay rates, which should protect real living standards by matching inflation, but they also regulate issues such as overtime and night rates, hours, holidays, maternity leave, sickness absence, training, health and safety, the use of temporary workers, disciplinary rules, union rights, social benefits (welfare), recruitment and job classification. In addition, some industry-level agreements include provision for the setting up of joint bodies to develop policy on issues, such as equal opportunities or developments the industry concerned.
At company level, the negotiations, among other things, are intended to deal with mechanisms to increase productivity and foster innovation, as well as how the benefits of increased productivity should be distributed. A survey of agreements by ISTAT, covering the period 2012-2013, found that the issues most frequently covered at company level were: fixed pay elements (61.1%); results-based bonuses (58.9%); hours and work organisation (50.7%); occupational training (44.6%); social benefits (welfare) 38.5%; dealing with the crisis (31.9%); types of employment contract (25.3%); relations with the unions and union rights (24.7%); grading (22.8%); and equal opportunities (15.7%).
In addition, the unions at national level have at times been closely involved in broader political issues such as major changes to welfare provision, taxes, and industrial development, particularly in the South of Italy. However, the extent of union involvement in these issues depends on the overall political context and the wishes of the government and is no longer automatic.
Italy does not have a system for setting a legal national minimum wage, although, as already noted, the courts will often refer to the minimum wage levels set in the appropriate industry agreement in individual cases on pay levels. Some political parties support the introduction of a statutory minimum wage, but the union confederations are more sceptical, arguing instead that the minimum rates in industry-level agreements should be enforced as the legal minimum,
 Italy: institutionalisation and resilience in a changing economic and political environment by Roberto Pedersini in Collective bargaining in Europe: towards an endgame, edited by Torsten Müller, Kurt Vandaele and Jeremy Waddington, ETUI, 2019 https://www.etui.org/content/download/36694/368812/file/CB+Vol+II+Chapter+16.pdf (Accessed 25.03.2020)
 A recent study by the Banca d’Italia noted that its own annual surveys of private companies in industry and services with more than 20 employees show that, between 2010 and 2016, around 20% of companies and something less than half of employees had company-level bargaining. I recenti sviluppi delle relazioni industriali in Italia by Francesco D’Amuri e Raffaella Nizzi, Banca d’Italia 2017. https://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/qef/2017-0416/QEF_416_17.pdf Another study bythe CNEL and the Italian statistical agency ISTAT found that, in the period 2012-12, 21.2% of companies with more than 10 employees had company-level agreements, but that this was much more widespread among larger companies, with 69.1% of companies employing 500 or more negotiating company level agreements. Progetto CNEL-ISTAT sul tema “Produttività, struttura e performance delle imprese esportatrici, mercato del lavoro e contrattazione integrativa”, December 2013 https://www.istat.it/it/files/2016/03/Report_Cnel_Istat1.pdf
 Accordo quadro: Riforma degli assetti contrattuali, 22 gennaio 2009
 Accordo interconfederale, 15 aprile 2009
 Accordo confederale fra Confindustria e CGIL, CISl e UIL del 28 giugno 2011
 Linee programmatiche per la crescita della produttivita’ e della competitivita’ in Italia, 16 novembre 2012
 Protocollo d'intesa del 31 maggio 2013
 Testo Unico sulla Rappresentanza: Confindustria – Cgil, Cisl e Uil, 10 gennaio 2014
 Convenzione attuativa del Testo Unico sulla rappresentanza, 19 settembre 2019
 XXI Rapporto mercato del lavoro e contrattazione collettiva 2019, CNEL, 2020
 La giungla degli 868 contratti collettivi. Il sole 24ore, 9 November 2017 http://quotidianolavoro.ilsole24ore.com/art/contratti-lavoro/2017-11-08/la-giungla-868-contratti-204538.php?uuid=AEwRtB7C (Accessed 25.03.2020)
 Comunicato stampa, INPS, 19 September 2019 https://www.inps.it/docallegatiNP/InpsComunica/UfficioStampa/comunicatistampa/Lists/ComunicatiStampa/cs190919bis.pdf (Accessed 25.03.2020)
 Testo del decreto-legge 13 agosto 2011, n. 138
 Decreto Legislativo n. 81 del 15 Jube 2015
 See Italy: institutionalisation and resilience in a changing economic and political environment by Roberto Pedersini in Collective bargaining in Europe: towards an endgame, edited by Torsten Müller, Kurt Vandaele and Jeremy Waddington, ETUI, 2019 https://www.etui.org/content/download/36694/368812/file/CB+Vol+II+Chapter+16.pdf (Accessed 25.03.2020)
 Governo, ok a legge sulla rappresentanza sindacale per fissare salario minimo, il Fatto Quotidiano, 19 September 2019 https://www.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2019/09/09/governo-ok-a-legge-sulla-rappresentanza-sindacale-per-fissare-salario-minimo-e-taglio-del-cuneo-tutto-a-vantaggio-dei-lavoratori/5440911/ (Accessed 25.03.2020)
 Decreto Legislativo 3 febbraio 1993, n. 29, modified in 1997 Art.47-bis
 Press release: Contratti collettivi e retribuzioni contrattuali, Diciembre 9 ISTAT, January 2020
 Progetto CNEL-ISTAT sul tema “Produttività, struttura e performance delle imprese esportatrici, mercato del lavoro e contrattazione integrativa”, December 2013 https://www.istat.it/it/files/2016/03/Report_Cnel_Istat1.pdf
The main employee representative bodies in Italy – the RSUs – are essentially union bodies, even if they are now elected by all employees. The unions nominate the candidates but the members are directly elected by the whole workforce.
The legislative basis for workplace representation is the 1970 Workers’ Statute which provides for trade union representation at company level. Agreements between the main union confederations and the employers, particularly in 1993 and 2014 (see section on collective bargaining), have built on this to create a new workplace representative structure, the RSU, bringing all unions in the workplace together. However, the structure foreseen by the Workers Statute, where each union would have its own representative body at company level, the RSA, continues to exist in some companies.
Under the terms of the Workers Statute (Article 19), RSAs can be set up by unions who are signatories to the collective agreement covering the company concerned (normally the industry-level agreement), although in 2013 the right to set up an RSA was extended by the court to unions who have been involved in the negotiations even if they had not signed the agreement.
RSAs are single union bodies, so, where they exist, there may be more than one in a single workplace. In 1991, as part of a general move to greater cooperation, the three main Italian union confederations agreed to set up a new structure, known as the unified trade union representation (RSU). This established a single committee for all the unions in the workplace, and initially two-thirds of the members were elected by the whole workforce and one third elected or appointed by the unions. (The rules were different in the public sector, with all RSU members being elected). This structure was accepted in principle in an agreement with the employers’ organisation Confindustria in July 1993 and the details were set out in an agreement for the private sector in December 1993 and for the public sector in April 1994. (For the public sector there was also legislation in 1997.)
These rules were modified in the agreements on union representativeness which the three confederations signed with Confindustria in May 2013 and January 2014. In particular, the requirement for one third of the seats to be elected or appointed directly by the unions was removed. Instead all RSU members were to be elected by the employees.
However, despite these general agreements, RSUs are not universal and in many companies RSAs continue to exist, sometimes alongside the RSU. Figures from the ISTAT survey for the period 2012-13 show than 12.1% of companies with at least 10 employees had an RSU and 11.8% had an RSA. Both bodies were less common in smaller companies and found more frequently in larger ones: in companies with between 200 and 500 employees 58.8% had an RSU and 41.8% an RSA, while in those with more than 500 employees, 61.5% had an RSU and 57.6% an RSA.
There are also sectoral differences. For example, while in manufacturing RSUs were more common than RSAs – 21.2% of companies had an RSU but only 12.9% had an RSA, in finance and insurance the situation was reversed, with only 3.9% of companies reporting an RSU compared with 45.3% with an RSA.
Since this information was collected the situation may have changed, as the January 2014 agreement on union representativeness stated that the unions signing the agreement undertook that they would not seek to set up an RSA that where an RSU was already in place or in the process of being formed.
However, whether workers are represented through RSUs or RSAs, it is the trade unions that play the central role. RSAs are entirely trade union bodies, chosen by union members and acting on their behalf. RSUs, in contrast, are elected by the whole workforce, but remain union committees.
Figures from Eurofound’s 2013 European Company Survey show that at that point 27% of establishments in Italy with at least 10 employees had some form of official employee representation, either through an RSA or an RSU. This is higher than national ISTAT figures which if RSA and RSU coverage is added together (and some companies have both) produce a total of 24%. The Eurofound figure for employee representation in Italy is slightly below the EU28 average of 32%.
Numbers and structures
Under the terms of the 1993 and 2014 agreements between the unions and employers, an RSU can be set up when there are more than 15 employees in the workplace. This is calculated on a full-time equivalent basis, with part-time staff counted in proportion to the number of hours they work and the figure for temporary staff depending on the average number of months worked in the previous two years. Agency staff are not included.
The national level agreements for the private and public sectors set a minimum number of RSU members (see table) .
Number of RSU members
16 to 200
201 to 3,000
3 for each 300 employees or part thereof
More than 3,000
An additional 3 for each 500 employees or part thereof
However, these ratios can be improved on in industry and company agreements, as the agreement for the retail, wholesale and wider service industry shows.
Number of RSU members
16 to 50
51 to 90
91 to 200
201 to 300
301 to 600
600 to 1,200
Above 1,200 employees the number of members in the RSU in the retail, wholesale and wider service industry increases by two for every 1,000 additional employees.
It is also possible to have an RSU which covers a group of small companies in a particular local area.
The RSU consists entirely of employees and its composition in terms of manual and non-manual employees, should reflect the workforce. This can be achieved through the choice of candidates or though separate voting groups (colleges). There should also be an “adequate representation” of the sexes
The trade unions themselves agree the rules governing the operation of the RSU. But it is normally chaired by the leading figure in the largest union in the workplace and in bigger workplaces there will be an executive committee. This body, made up of the leading figures in the unions on site, will often take the key decisions, which are then reported back to the RSU as a whole.
The RSU can set up sub-committees on particular issues, such as health and safety, work organisation or the canteen and on some topics, such as new technology or job classification.
There are no national rules which set out how often the RSU should meet as a body or how often it should meet the employer, although these issues are regulated in some industry level agreements. Often meetings only take place “where necessary”.
Under the terms of the Workers’ Statute, an RSA can in principle be set up in companies employing more than 15 workers (five in agriculture). However, industry level collective agreements often provide further details. The agreement for the retail, wholesale and wider service industry, for example, allows each union signing the agreement to set up an RSA provided they have a set level of membership in the workplace. The membership thresholds are: three, where there are between 15 to 60 employees, five, where there are between 60 and 200, and seven, where there are more than 200 employees. The agreement also states that RSAs will only be set up if, over the course of 24 months, it has proved impossible to elect an RSU.
Tasks and rights
The key function of the RSUs is to negotiate with the employers at workplace level. RSUs are intended to act as the workplace representatives of the trade unions and the agreements, which set them up, give them the power to negotiate binding agreements for their workplace as part of the bargaining structure.
Employers must by law inform and consult with employee representatives on health and safety, the use of public funds for industrial restructuring, large scale redundancies, and business transfers. But most of the RSU’s rights to be informed and consulted on specific issues depend on agreements reached at industry and sometimes company level. These agreements will include the information and consultation requirements included in the EU’s 2002 information and consultation directive (2002/14 /EC), which was implemented in Italian legislation in March 2007. For companies with at least 50 employees, this covers information about the company’s “activities and economic situation” and the right to be informed and consulted about the “situation, structure and probable development of employment” as well as being informed and consulted about “decisions likely to lead to substantial changes in work organisation or in contractual relations”
Normally industry and company-level agreements are slightly more detailed and demanding, and require the employer to provide information and consult on topics such as: investment; the numbers employed; changes in working methods; the introduction of new technology; equal opportunities and training. For example, the retail, wholesale and wider service industry agreement specifically provides for the unions to be given information on company plans for significant reorganisation, outsourcing, changes in procurement, restructuring, use of atypical employment, technological innovation and changes that affect corporate structure. They should also be given details of corporate social responsibility initiatives, such as the adoption of a specific code of conduct.
The consultation increasingly takes the form of joint employer/union committees, which are intended to prepare the groundwork for collective bargaining by providing technical support. Typically, these committees are made up half of management and half of union representatives. Members may be permanent or elected on an ad hoc basis depending on the issues to be discussed. The principal aim of these joint committees is to encourage a non-confrontational exchange between the two sides, in the process stimulating cooperation aimed at solving organisational problems.
Several big companies have set up joint observatories to monitor key developments. For example, the industry-level agreement for the energy and oil industrycalls for larger companies to have observatories meeting twice a year which look at investment plans, economic and energy forecasts, structural changes and employment developments, while the metalworking agreement also provides for company-level observatories in companies employing at least 3,000 workers, while, in those with at least 2,000, there should be joint committees on training and equal opportunities.
The RSU does not have a major role in general trade union activity in the sense of promoting the union and union policy. This is more the role of the trade union outside the workplace.
The role of the RSA is not defined in detail in the legislation, but in in broad terms it is to protect the rights of union members.
Elections and term of office
Following the January 2014 agreement on union representativeness, all members of the RSU are elected by the whole workforce in a secret ballot but can only be nominated by the unions. Before this agreement, two-thirds of the members were elected and one third was nominated by the unions, in line with the support they had received in the election.
To be able to nominate, a union must: either have signed the January 2014 agreement – the three main confederations; or have reached an agreement at industry level for the company concerned; or have a formal constitution, support the January agreement and the two agreements in 2011and 2013 which preceded it, and have the support of at least 5% of the potential voters (at least three individuals in companies with fewer than 60 employees). Voting is on the basis of a list system, and unions cannot propose candidates for more than two-thirds of the seats.
The arrangements agreed in January 2014 bring the private sector in line with the public sector, where legislation already provides that all RSU members are elected.
RSU members are elected for three years. At least three months before the end of this period of office, they or the unions involved should take the initiative to begin the process of new elections.
As set out in the Workers’ Statute, the term of office for RSA members is also three years.
Protection against dismissal
Members of the both the RSU and the RSAs are protected against dismissal by the Workers’ Statute (Article 15) which expressly makes discriminatory behaviour such as dismissal or other forms of detriment unlawful.
Time off and other resources
RSU members are legally entitled to paid time-off on the basis of a formula set out in the Workers’ Statute (Article 23), which originally applying to the RSA structure where each union has separate workplace representation – a separate RSA. The time off is calculated separately for the key figure for each RSA, and provides an hour per employee per year where there are fewer than 200 employees; 8 hours a month for each 300 employees where there are fewer than 3,000; and 8 hours a month for each 500 employees or part thereof where there are more than 3,000. In addition, these individuals are entitled by law to 8 days unpaid leave a year for union business.
These rules are less suited to the RSU structure where there is a single union body at the workplace rather than several, and collective agreements often include arrangements which take better account of the RSU structure, which typically include representatives of three unions. The agreement for retail, wholesale and wider service industry agreement for example provides time-off rights for three RSU members in workplaces with up to 200 employees, and goes up in further blocks of three as the size of the workplace increases.
As well as establishing how many RSU members have time-off rights, the same agreement also improves on the amount of paid time off allowed, providing 50% more paid time off than the legal minimum – one-and-a-half hours per employee per year companies with fewer than 200 employees and 12 hours per month rather than eight in larger companies.
Frequently the time-off will be re-divided so that leading members of the RSU have more time-off than others. In some large plants there may be someone completely freed from normal duties although this is less common than in the past.
Employee representatives have a general right to make use of noticeboards and the RSU, or other type of representation, should have an office, where there are more than 200 employees. Some industry agreements also allow for the limited use of external experts.
Neither RSU nor RSA members have a specific statutory right to training to carry out their duties.
Representation at group level
Collective agreements allow the creation of a group level co-ordinating committee when there are several companies in a group, or several workplaces in a single company. The RSUs in the group send members to this co-ordinating committee and full-time officials of the unions will also normally attend.
 Statuto dei lavoratori (Legge 300/1970)
 This followed a dispute at FIAT which led to there being no agreement between the company and the metalworking union FIOM (part of CGIL). Decision by the Constitutional Court 3-23 July 2013, no. 231
 Protocollo d'intesa del 31 maggio 2013 and Testo Unico sulla Rappresentanza: Confindustria – Cgil, Cisl e Uil, 10 gennaio 2014
 Progetto CNEL-ISTAT sul tema “Produttività, struttura e performance delle imprese esportatrici, mercato del lavoro e contrattazione integrativa”, December 2013 https://www.istat.it/it/files/2016/03/Report_Cnel_Istat1.pdf
 Eurofound (2015), Third European Company Survey – Overview report: Workplace practices – Patterns, performance and well-being, Figures for Table 44
 Contratto collettivo nazionale di lavoro (CCNL) del commercio per i dipendenti da aziende del terziario, della distribuzione e dei servizi, 30 March 2015
There is no right to employee board level representation in Italy, and, although this has been proposed in the past, change currently seems unlikely.
Since 2003 Italian companies have been able to choose between three forms of corporate governance. These are the two systems found elsewhere in Europe, a single board (one tier) and a management board and a supervisory board (two-tier), and the specific Italian system where there is both a management and a supervisory board, but both are chosen by the shareholders and the supervisory board has an auditing rather than monitoring function. Employees have no right to board level representation, and the 2003 legislation specifically stated that those in an employment relationship with the company could not be elected to the supervisory board.
Past governments have proposed introducing board level representation but the necessary legislation to do so has not been passed.
 Following the Company Law Reform Act Decreto Legislativo 17 gennaio 2003, n. 6
 One example is was the Legge Fornero (Legge 28 giugno 2012 , n. 92) in 2012. This stated that detailed legislation would be introduced, to allow share-based companies with a two-tier structure and with more than 300 employees to permit employees to participate as members of the supervisory board with the same rights as all other members. However, the necessary implementing legislation has not been adopted.
Italian representatives on European level bodies are generally chosen by the unions and the local union body at the workplace, the RSU, although the rules vary slightly depending on the body on which the representatives sit.
European Works Councils
Italian members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for the EWC are appointed by the unions which signed the industry agreement covering the company and the union representative body in the company - the RSU – where this exists. If there is no RSU, the union and management must agree an appropriate procedure to choose SNB members.
The situation is the same for Italian members of an EWC set up under the annex to the directive.
Italian members of the special negotiating body (SNB) for the European company are elected or appointed from the union representative body in the company, the RSU, by the RSU together with the unions which signed the industry agreement covering the company. The legislation specifically says that both employees and non-employees of the company (by implication full-time officials) may be chosen.
Italian members of the SE representative body set up under the fallback procedure in the annex to the directive are to be elected in the same way as RSU members themselves.
In the fallback procedure for choosing board level representatives, it is the SE representative body which decides how they should be selected, although the Italian legislation also states that each member state may determine the way in which board seats assigned to that state should be divided up.
Further information on the national SE legislation can be found here.
Safety representatives, chosen directly by the employees in smaller organisations, and by the existing trade union structures in those with more than 15 employees, provide representation for employees in the area of health and safety in Italy. There is no structure of joint employer/employee safety committees, other than a meeting with the employer and health and safety staff once a year or when there are major changes. However, Italy does have a structure of area safety representatives who cover smaller companies without their own safety representatives.
Basic approach at workplace level
The employer is solely responsible for drawing up a risk assessment and appointing the head of risk prevention. As part of a series of responsibilities in the area of health and safety, the employer and managers working on his or her behalf are required to consult with safety representatives, representing the employees.
Employee health and safety bodies
Employee representation in the area of health and safety at work is primarily provided by safety representatives at local level, known as company safety representatives (rappresentante dei lavoratori per la sicurezza aziendale – RLS). However, there are also area safety representatives (rappresentante dei lavoratori per la sicurezza territoriale o di comparto - RSLT), covering companies without a safety representative across a specific geographical area, and site safety representatives (rappresentante dei lavoratori per la sicurezza di sito produttivo), who have a coordinating role where several companies share a single site – such as construction sites, ports and transport hubs.
Numbers and structure
There is no minimum employee threshold for the appointment of these company safety representatives, although the election procedures are different in smaller organisations (up to and including 15 employees) from those in larger organisations (see section on elections). The number of company safety representatives is fixed by collective agreement but the law also lays down minimum numbers, as follows.
Number of employees
Minimum number of company safety representatives in law
Up to 200
201 to 1,000
More than 1,000
The collective agreement for the energy and oil industry, signed in 2010, provides for significantly higher numbers: one company safety representatives for companies with up to 50 employees, two for those with between 51 and 100, three for those with 101 to 300, four for those with 301 to 600, five for those with 601 to 1,000 and six for those with more than 1,000 employees.
Area safety representatives cover companies without their own company safety representative, generally smaller companies, and the arrangements for their appointment are set out in the relevant collective agreements. The work of the area safety representatives is financed by a contribution of two hours’ pay per year per employee from companies without a company safety representative. The health and safety authorities collect these contributions and organise payment for the work of the area safety representative.
Site safety representatives have the task of coordinating the activities of the various company safety representatives at the site.
Safety representatives in companies with more than 15 employees also participate in a health and safety meeting with the employer, which should take place at least once a year.
Research by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in 2014 found that 87% of workplaces in Italy had health and safety representatives. This is the highest percentage in the EU-28 and well above the EU-28 average, which is 58%. (The figures are for workplaces with five or more employees.)
Tasks and rights
Safety representatives should have access to the workplace in which work is undertaken. Area safety representatives, who cover several workplaces, should normally give prior notice of their intention to visit the workplace, under terms set out in the appropriate collective agreement. However, this does not apply in the case of a serious accident, when it is only necessary to advise the health and safety authorities of the intention to visit.
Safety representatives should be being consulted:
- beforehand and in good time on risk assessments and measures of prevention;
- on the appointment of staff with health and safety responsibilities and the company doctor, as well as on fire prevention, first aid and evacuation arrangements; and
- on the organisation of the health and safety training provided to employees and safety representatives.
The company should also provide safety representatives with information and company documentation on:
- risk assessment and measures of prevention;
- dangerous substances;
- machines and equipment in use;
- work organisation and the working environment; and
- accidents and occupational diseases.
Safety representatives should also receive information from the health and safety authorities.
The tasks of safety representatives include: promoting the development and implementation of measures of prevention intended to protect the health and safety of employees; make proposals on preventative actions; and advise the employer of risks encountered in the course of their activities.
Safety representatives can comment to the health and safety authorities when the authorities make inspections, and safety representatives can also call on the authorities if they consider that the measures of prevention and protection taken by the employer are insufficient to guarantee the safety and health of employees.
Safety representatives are also entitled to take part in the annual meeting on health and safety, which should be organised in all companies with more than 15 employees. The other participants are the employer, or his or her representative, the head of the company’s head and safety services and the works doctor, where there is one. This meeting should also take place if there are significant changes in the risks present in the workplace, including those resulting from the introduction of new technology.
At the meeting, the employer should present:
- the company risk assessment document;
- information on accidents, occupational diseases and health monitoring;
- the selection criteria, technical characteristics the effectiveness of personal protective equipment; and
- health and safety information and training programmes.
The meeting can draw up health and safety guidelines and codes of good practice.
Frequency of meetings
There is no provision for regular meetings, other than the meeting with the employer and those involved in health and safety in the company, which should take place annually.
Election and term of office
Company safety representatives in smaller companies (up to and including 15 employees) are elected directly by the employees. In larger companies (more than 15 employees) they are elected or chosen by the trade union representative structure in the company (normally the unitary trade union structure – RSU), or where this does not exist, directly by the employees themselves. The election procedures are determined by the appropriate collective agreement.
Collective agreements for the industry concerned also determine the procedure for the appointment of area safety representatives. Individuals elected to this position cannot combine it with other trade union duties.
Site safety representatives are chosen from among the company safety representatives on the site and the procedure for appointing them is also determined by the appropriate collective agreement.
Unless otherwise determined in a collective agreement, all safety representative elections should take place annually on the national health and safety at work day, normally in October.
Resources, time off and training
The legislation states that safety representatives should be given sufficient paid time off to enable them to undertake their role as well as the necessary means and space to do so, but does not specify precisely what this should be.
However, it does provide greater detail on the training safety representatives should receive. This should cover the basic health and safety legislation, the identification of risks, legislation on the rights of safety representatives and some information on communication techniques. Safety representatives should receive an initial 32 hours’ paid training, of which 12 should be on the risks present in the company, with a right to four hours of training per year thereafter in companies with 15 to 50 employees and eight hours in those with more than 50. Area safety representatives, who cover many different companies, are entitled to an initial 64 hours of training with eight per year thereafter. In both cases, collective agreements may extend these rights.
Protection against dismissal
Safety representatives should not be disadvantaged because of the exercise of their functions.
Other elements of workplace health and safety
Employers are required to provide a protective and preventive health and safety service for their organisation, and this service can normally be provided either within the company or by external experts. In small organisations (those with up to five employees) and in larger organisations which do not involve a high level of risk, the employer can take on the responsibility for this health and safety service. However, in certain larger and more dangerous workplaces, such as industrial plants with more than 200 employees or operations in the extractive industry with more than 50, the protective and preventive health and safety service must be provided internally.
The obligatory qualifications of those providing this health and safety service, whether internally or externally, are set out in detail in the legislation.
In some cases, either because the law requires it or the risk assessment indicates that it is necessary, the employer is obliged to provide health surveillance for the workforce. Where this is the case, it must be undertaken by a “competent doctor”, in other words an occupational physician.
The ministry responsible for health and safety at work is the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies (Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali). Following legislative changes in 2015, the overall responsibility for monitoring compliance with health and safety laws and regulations lies with the National Labour Inspectorate (Ispettorato Nazionale del Lavoro), which also covers other labour law social contributions issues. However, it coordinates its activities with the inspection services of Local Health Agencies (Azienda Sanitarie Locali – ASL), which previously had prime responsibility for monitoring health and safety, and which continue to be involved.
Trade unions and employers are able to influence health and safety policy through their membership of the Standing Advisory Committee on Health and Safety at Work (Commissione consultiva permanente per la salute e sicurezza sul lavoro) in which, following a restructuring in 2014, central government, regional government, unions and employers are equally represented.
The new consolidated legislation on health and safety passed in 2008 placed an obligation on employers to take account of work-related stress, as defined in the 2004 European Agreement on the same topic (Article 28 of the Testo unico sulla salute e sicurezza sul lavoro –D.LGS 81/2008). This led, in further legislation (D. LGS 106/2009), to the inclusion of the evaluation of work-related stress as one of the elements to be included in the Safety Policy, which all employers must draw up. This requirement came into force on 1 January 2011.
Consolidated text on health and safety at work
Legislative Decree 9 April 2008, n. 81 (1)
Implementation of Article 1 of the Law of 3 August 2007, n. 123, concerning the protection of health and safety in the workplace
Testo unico sulla salute e sicurezza sul lavoro
D.Lgs. 9 aprile 2008, n. 81 (1)
Attuazione dell'articolo 1 della legge 3 agosto 2007, n. 123, in materia di tutela della salute e della sicurezza nei luoghi di lavoro
 Second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2016
 For more information on the national context see OSH system at national level – Italy by Francesca Grosso and Adriano Papale, OSH Wiki https://oshwiki.eu/wiki/OSH_system_at_national_level_-_Italy
The current level of employee financial participation in Italy is one of the lowest in Europe. Although several reforms during the 1990s tried to overcome the main obstacles to a more widespread implementation of financial participation in Italy, the unanimous attitude towards such systems on the trade unions’ side and existing company legislation tend to hinder such developments. Although the plan for a new law on workers’ participation was discussed in Italy in 2011/2012, it has still not been implemented.
The practice of workers’ financial participation is closely linked to the privatization process in the 1990s. Whereas the time between 1920-1980 was marked by ever increasing state-controlled economy and state-run enterprises, the financial crisis of the 1990s and new European directives fostered the transformation of state-run enterprises into public limited companies (società per azioni, spa) and their alienation on the capital market. In 1998, the government and the social partners agreed to favour employees’ financial participation.1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. Biagi, M./ Tiraboschi, M. (2001): „La partecipazione finanziaria dei lavoratori in Italia: considerazioni de iure condito e prospettive de iure condendo”, Sezione II.
The interest in employee financial participation increased a little when, due to the privatization process in the 1980s and 1990s, a number of different participation schemes were created. The incidence of profit-sharing and employee share ownership remains low, however.
Rules and regulations governing profit-sharing schemes are set at company level. State Decree No. 67 of March 1997 provided for partial tax relief for profit-sharing schemes up to 1% of the total payroll amount. Between 2007 and 2008, up to 5% of wages could be tax-exempted, but this was capped to 3% by the Interministerial Decree of 7 May 2008. It was laid down that employers offering their employees profit-sharing schemes benefit from a 25% reduction in social security contributions. Employee contributions are paid for by the state. The annual income threshold for such benefits is set at 35,900 Euro. The maximum amount of tax relief is set at 6,000 Euro.1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. Lowitzsch, J., Hashi, I. and Woodward, R. (2009): The PEPPER IV Report: Benchmarking of Employee Participation in Profits and Enterprise Results in the Member and Candidate Countries of the European Union. Country Profile “Italy”
Italian legislation has only a few legal provisions favouring employee financial participation in the enterprise.
Article 46 of Italian Constitution1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. Costituzione della Republica Italiana, data a Roma, addì 27 dicembre 1947. For more detail see Biagi, M., Tiraboschi, M. (2001): La partecipazione finanziaria dei lavoratori in Italia: considerazioni de iure condito e prospettive de iure condendo, Section 1.
In Italy, there are three major trade unions (CGIL, CISL and UIL) with different views on employee financial participation. Socialist and communist confederations tend to be more hostile to workers’ financial participation than liberal, social democrat or Catholic confederations.
In most cases, unions criticize what they regard as the minimal opportunities that share ownership schemes provide for greater employee involvement in corporate governance. Union confederations have opposed financial participation in the past in cases where employers explicitly coupled it to stronger wage flexibility. Generally speaking, the CGIL adopts a somewhat more critical attitude to financial participation schemes than the CISL and UIL.1 var obj = document.getElementById('note_hidden'); obj.value = obj.value + '1
1. See, for example, Ilossi, D. (2004): “Italy”. In: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung und ETUI (eds), Workers’ participation at board level in the EU-15 countries, pp. 69-71; Ries, M. (2005): The status of SE-directive transposition in Italy, pp. 6-10; European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2007): Financial participation of employees in the European Union: Much ado about nothing? Background Paper. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2007): Financial participation of employees in the European Union: Much ado about nothing? Background Paper. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- Lowitzsch, J., Hashi, I. & Woodward, R. (2009): The PEPPER IV Report: Benchmarking of Employee Participation in Profits and Enterprise Results in the Member and Candidate Countries of the European Union. Country Profile “Italy”.
- European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (2010): European Company Survey 2009. Overview. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
- Lowitzsch, J. et al. (2012): Employee Financial Participation in Companies’ Proceeds. Study requested by the European Parliament`s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. Brussels.
- Mathieu, M. (2012): Annual Economic Survey of Employee Ownership in European Countries 2012. European Federation of Employee Share Ownership.
- Clifford Chance (2010): Employee Share Plans in Europe and the USA.
CONFINDUSTRIA and Affiliates
- CONFINDUSTRIA - General Confederation of Italian Industry
- ANCE - construction employers
- ANIE - Italian Federation of Electrotechnical and Electronics Industries (En)
- ANIMA - Federation of the Italian Associations of Mechanical and Engineering Industries (En)
- FEDERALIMENTARE - food industry employers
- FEDERCHIMICA - Italian Federation of the Chemical Industry (En)
- FEDERCOMIN - communication and information employers
- FEDERMECCANICA - metalworking employers
- FEDERTRASPORTO - transport employers (En)
- FITA - Federation of Professional Industry and Service Organisations
- INTERMECCANICA - Italian Plastics and Rubber Processing Machinery and Moulds Manufacturers' Association (En)
- ABI - Italian Banking Association (En)
- ANQUI – Industry manager and professional association
- ASSTRA – Public transportCNA - crafts and artisan employers
- CONFAPI – Italian Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Industry (En)
- CONFARTIGIANATO - crafts and artisan employers
- CONFCOMMERCIO - commerce, tourism and services employers
- CONFCOOPERATIVE – Confederazione Cooperative Italiane
- CONFESERCENTI - commerce, tourism and services employers
- FEDERMANAGER - Industry manager association
- LEGACOOP - Lega Nazionale delle Cooperative
- MANAGERITALIA - manager and professional association
CGIL and Affiliates
- AGENQUADRI-CGIL - managers and professionals' union
- CGIL- General Confederation of Italian Workers
- FILCAMS-CGIL - commerce, hotels amd services workers' union
- FILCTEM CGIL – chemical, textile, energy and manufactuting workers' union
- FILLEA-CGIL - construction workers' union
- FILT-CGIL - transport workers' union
- FIOM-CGIL - metalworkers' union (En)
- FISAC-CGIL - insurance and credit workers' union
- FLAI-CGIL - agro-industry workers' union
- ALPA - agro-industry workers' association
- Funzione Pubblica CGIL - public service workers' union
- NIDIL - union for consultants, temporary agency workers and other "atypical" workers
- SILF - graphical arts workers' federation
- SLC-CGIL - communication workers' union
- FLC-CGIL - teachers' union
- SNUR-CGIL - university and research workers' union
- SLC-CGIL - communication workers' union
- FLC-CGIL - Knowledge Workers’ Union
- SPI-CGIL - Pensioner Workers’ Union
- SILP-CGIL – Police Workers’ Union
- Associazione Bruno Trentin - ISF - IRES (CIGL)
CISL and Affiliates
- Associazione Quadri CISL - managers and professionals' union
- CISL - Italian Confederation of Workers' Trade Unions (En)
- CISL FIR - public research institutions workers' union
- Cisl Medici - Dependent Physicians and Veterinarians of S.S.N. and the settled Physicians
- CISL Pensionati - Federation of pensioners
- CISL Scuola - school workers' union
- CISL Universita - (University) Teaching and non-teaching staff workers' union
- CLACS - independent workers from the commercial and services sector
- FAI - agriculture and food workers' federation
- FEGICA - petrol distribution workers' union
- FELSA - Federazione Lavoratori Somministrati Autonomi ed Atipici
- FEMCA - Federation of Mine, Chemical , Energy and Allied Workers Federation; of Textile, Leather and Clothing workers
- FIBA-CISL - banking and insurance workers' union
- FILCA-CISL - construction and allied workers' union
- FIM CISL - Federation of Metalworkers
- FISASCAT - Federation of Commerce, Services and Tourism industry workers
- FISTEL - Federation of show-business, information and telecommunications workers
- FIT - Transport Federation
- FLAEI - Federation of Electricity Workers
- FNS - Federazione nazionale sicurezza
- Funzione Publica - Public administration and public services workers' union
- SLP - Federation of Post Office workers
- UGC - General Union of Farmers
UIL and Affiliates
- UIL - Union of Italian Workers
- FENEAL-UIL - building and woodworkers' union
- UIL Scuola - education workers' union
- UILA - food workers' union
- UILCA - credit and insurance workers' union
- UILTEC – textile, chemical and energy workers' union
- UILFPL - local authority workers' federation
- UIL FPL Sanita - health workers' union
- UIL OO. CC. – Parliament and other institutions workers' union
- UILM - metalworkers' union
- UILPOST - postal workers' union
- UILPA - public administration workers' union
- UILCOM – Communications workers’ union
- UILTRASPORTI - transport workers' union
- UILTEMP - union for temporary agency / "atypical" workers
- UILTUCS - tourism, commerce and services workers' federation
- UILUNSA - Unione nazionale scrittori e artisti
- Uilpensionati - Pensioner Workers’ Union
UGL and Affiliates
- UGL - General Labour Union
- UGL Comunicazioni
- UGL Credito
- UGL Metalmeccanici
- UGL Telecomunicazioni
- UGL Terziario
Other Union Organisations
- ACLI - Christian workers' union
- ARAN -Agenzia per la rappresentanza negoziale delle pubbliche amministrazioni
- CIDA - confederation of managers (En)
- CISAL - confederation of independent unions
- COBAS della Scuola - school workers' rank-and-file committees
- Confederazione COBAS - rank-and-file committee confederation
- CONFSAL - confederation of autonomous unions
- Coordinamento RSU - national organisation of RSU worker representative bodies
- FABI - independent bank workers' union
- FNSI - journalists' union
- IPA – Italian Pilots Association
- SULTA - air transport workers' union (En)
- Unionquadri - managers' and professionals' union
- USPPI - federation of professionals' unions
- Associazione per gli Studi Internazionali e Comparati sul Diritto del Lavoro e le Relazioni Industriali (Adapt)
- Centro di Studi Economici Sociale e Sindacali (CESOS)
- Centro Studi Marco Biagi
- Centro Studi nazionale CISL Firenze
- CNEL - National Council for Economic Affairs and Labour
- Conquiste del lavoro (CISL)
- Ediesse (CGIL)
- Edizioni Lavoro (CISL)
- Fondazione Corazzi
- Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini
- Fondazione Giulio Pastore
- Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vittorio
- Il diario del lavoro
- INAIL - National Institute for Industrial Accident Insurance
- INPS - National Social Welfare Institution
- ISFOL - Institute for the Development of Vocational Training
- ISTAT - National Institute of Statistics
- Rassegna Sindacale (CGIL)
- Rassegna Sindacale online (CGIL)