Unions and Change Process. Interviews with Trade Unions Leaders
The following pages contain a series of structured interviews carried out in September and October 2008 and give an important picture of the current situation of the Italian unions. The interviewees are Susanna Camusso, Confederal Secretary Cgil, Dept of Productive Sector Sector Policies; Carla Cantone, General Secretary of Spi-Cgil; Franco Martini, General Secretary of Filcams-Cgil; Morena Piccinini, Confederal Secretary Cgil, Dept of Welfare and New Rights; Giorgio Santini, Confederal Secretary Cisl, Dept of Labour, Training and Development in Southern Italy; and Claudio Treves, co-ordinator of the Dept of Labour Policies in the Cgil. The interviews are organised in two parts: the first, common to all the interviews, consists of two general questions on the subject of representation and the efforts and real capacity of the unions to see and interpret the post-Fordist socio-economic changes in the perspective of building up a welfare system; the second has three different questions for each interviewee on more specific matters and union dynamics connected with bargaining and the new role of local bargaining, the identity of the unions and their specific role in European policies.
Trade Union and Welfare State: Initiatives at a Local Level
In Italy one may detect quite a long, although largely unknown, history of diffused relationships between trade unions and local-level governments and institutions, which over time resulted in practices of union involvement in and contribution to the design and implementation of labor and social policies at the periphery of the Ir system. This phenomenon is largely dependent on the characteristics and limits of the Italian welfare system as a whole. The article discusses the phases and logics of this concealed history, focusing on their main features and outcomes. Two main phases and two main logics of action are pointed out. While in a first period - during the 1970s and 1980s - the initiative of the unions in the field of labor and social policies at the territorial level was essentially contingent and reactive in character, aimed at seizing opportunities and/or coping with emergencies, subsequently - during the last two decades - such initiative turned out to be more intentional and strategic in orientation, entering into the redefinition of the unions’ representative strategy targeted to specific groups of workers and citizens.
The Protocol on Pensions, Jobs and Competition: the Role of Concertation
The Protocol on pensions, jobs and competition of 23 July 2007 is certainly one of the most important agreements between government and social partners in recent years, for its farrangingness and for the debate it has set off in public opinion. This is partly due to the significant involvement of workers in the referendum held on the text, as well as the high percentage of approval for its solutions. In method and solutions it provides an opportunity to analyse how consultation has developed and how it stands on an essentially bipolar political scene, and to verify the state of health of Italy’s welfare system in an age of epoch-making challenges such as globalisation and the ageing of the population. The article examines the structure of the protocol in relation to the pensions system, the regulation of labour relations and the labour market, and the competitiveness of the system.
Pensions Reform in Italy. A Historical Analysis of Politic of Solidarity
This article gives a historical analysis of pensions reform in Italy over the last two decades, in the attempt to cast light on the role of the unions in the political process and make some suggestions as to the redistributory consequences of the reforms agreed, commenting on the competing strategies of the negotiators to distribute the costs and benefits of the new measures. A study of the various reforms agreed and their redistributory effects (particularly the 1995 Dini Reform) makes possible an initial evaluation of the unions’ work. While some of the literature has emphasised their defence of their members’ interests (to the detriment of collective interests) this analysis shows a more complex interaction between ideas and preferences. The brief comparison with other European countries confirms the need to consider interests in order to understand the reform processes of the so-cial policies and their outcomes, even with a more wide-ranging approach.