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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL Octobre - Italy: The basic trade unionism is still there (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Tue, 7 Nov 2017 08:29:31 +0200


In Italy, in the 1980s, so-called "basic" trade unions developed , in opposition to the very moderate line of the three major unions. An inventory of this dynamic, between anarcho-syndicalist perspectives and institutional lock, with Sandro and Giovanni, two comrades of the USI. ---- In Italy there are three majority unions. The first, the Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro (CGIL), is the main Italian trade union, linked in the past to the former Italian Communist Party, and which now boasts 5.5 million members. Then comes the Confederazione Italiana Sindicati Lavoratori (ICFTU), 4 million adherents, founded in 1948, following the split of the Catholic stream of the CGIL. Finally, the Unione Italiana del Lavoro (UIL), created in 1950, following a new split, this time of the Social Democrats (2.2 million members).

Social Regression and Union Bureaucracy

The trade union bureaucracy, from the end of the 1970s, adopted a moderate line that led in 1980 to the dramatic defeat of the Fiat workers, ushering in a period of regression, with the passive acceptance of the restructuring of production, causing a progressive weakening of the majority union structures. To challenge their hegemony, the grassroots union movement developed in Italy from the late 1980s, apart from Confederate unionism, especially following the educational strikes of 1986-1987. Subsequently, other basic unions appeared in the health, the railways, the airports ... but also in some industrial companies like Fiat, where they remain nevertheless very minority.

Unione Sindacale di Base (USB), which boasts 250,000 members, was born 8 years ago. The main struggles have been in the steel industry but especially in the company Alitalia. It is present in industry (Piaggio, FCA which is the new Fiat) and in public transport, and also occupies an important place in the ASIA (an association for the right to housing). Apart from USB, we should mention the Comitati di Base (Cobas), and in particular the CIB-Unicobas (of which Altrascuola-Unicobas is a part), which is an important libertarian organization covering different sectors (Health, Education, Public Administration ) strongly represented in the education sector as well as among public servants and health services.
There are 21 operational sections with 5,000 members in 40 cities. Particularly with regard to public education, CIB-Unicobas fought the inefficiency of job evaluations for professors, based mainly on questionnaires (Concorsone). In 2000, this system was rejected after a strike launched at the call of Unicobas and Cobas and very widely followed by more than 50,000 teachers: on the same occasion, the Minister Luigi Berlinguer resigned from his post as Minister of Education . On the other hand, there is the Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI), an anarcho-syndicalist trade union which is gradually expanding in the public and private sector, with offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions. CIB-Unicobas fought the inefficiency of job evaluations for professors, based primarily on questionnaires (Concorsone). In 2000, this system was rejected after a strike launched at the call of Unicobas and Cobas and very widely followed by more than 50,000 teachers: on the same occasion, the Minister Luigi Berlinguer resigned from his post as Minister of Education . On the other hand, there is the Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI), an anarcho-syndicalist trade union which is gradually expanding in the public and private sector, with offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions. CIB-Unicobas fought the inefficiency of job evaluations for professors, based primarily on questionnaires (Concorsone). In 2000, this system was rejected after a strike launched at the call of Unicobas and Cobas and very widely followed by more than 50,000 teachers: on the same occasion, the Minister Luigi Berlinguer resigned from his post as Minister of Education . On the other hand, there is the Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI), an anarcho-syndicalist trade union which is gradually expanding in the public and private sector, with offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions.
this system was rejected after a strike launched at the call of Unicobas and Cobas then very largely followed by more than 50,000 professors: on the same occasion, the minister Luigi Berlinguer resigned from his post of Minister of Education. On the other hand, there is the Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI), an anarcho-syndicalist trade union which is gradually expanding in the public and private sector, with offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions. this system was rejected after a strike launched at the call of Unicobas and Cobas then very largely followed by more than 50,000 professors: on the same occasion, the minister Luigi Berlinguer resigned from his post of Minister of Education. On the other hand, there is the Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI), an anarcho-syndicalist trade union which is gradually expanding in the public and private sector, with offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions. an anarcho-syndicalist union which is in progressive expansion in the public and private sector, which has offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions. an anarcho-syndicalist union which is in progressive expansion in the public and private sector, which has offices in Rome, Milan, Udine, etc. and is present in about thirty provinces with its national unions.

To better understand the state of Italian trade unionism and the dynamics of grassroots unions, two union members, Sandro from the USI-AIT Milan, and Giovanni from the USB Livorno, who testify for AL.

Unlike the basic unions whose complex image is not very positive, and whose phenomena of bureaucratization have grown according to Sandro - promoting power struggles, splits - the USI-AIT s' is created through local chapters to implement autonomy in union practices. The ICU rejects the principle of the permanent, which opposes it to the other basic unions. The practice of rotations every three years is recorded in the statutes.

A practice of rotation inscribed in the statutes

The context, for Giovanni, is this one. Since January 2014, there has been an agreement on the unique representativeness of workers between the three big Confederate unions and employers. This agreement tries to limit the presence of other unions in companies. The principle is to give representativeness to the delegates belonging to the three large unions signatories of the agreement that support the unique representativeness. Since, if the majority of the representatives of a company signs an agreement with the majority of the confederated unions, it is impossible to contest it or to strike. The threat is clear: either a union accepts the agreement imposed by the others, or it sees itself without right of representation. This agreement means that the negotiations procedures in the company must be accepted.
There is clearly talk of anti-strike clauses because the union signing the agreement will use its influence to avoid a protest by the workers on the same agreement. Most of the grassroots unions have, of course, denounced this agreement imposed by the Confederate unions in an attempt to eliminate them." One of the biggest problems we have right now is the attack on the right to strike in certain sectors "explains Giovanni. This attack is being waged by the new government and the three big Confederate unions. In Italy, there is a law, the 146 dating from 1990, which limits the right to strike in the public sectors (museums, transport and health). Because of this law, before declaring a strike, the union must activate a procedure by requesting a meeting with the company or the boss. If the agreement is not made, there is a second meeting to be set up with the prefecture and if there is still no agreement, a request must be made to the National Guarantee Commission. In fact, with this law, there is almost never a strike in the public sectors. If a union takes the initiative of a strike without the agreement, it will have to pay a fine of up to 20,000 or 30,000 euros. Furthermore, at the moment the government is still discussing a new law to further limit the right to strike. It would seem that strikes can only be proclaimed by the majority unions. As the other unions do not have enough enrollments, they would be denied the right to strike. This would be the worst strike attack ever seen since the post-war period. If the law passes, all grassroots unions will be swept away.

A phase of reconstruction of the labor movement

" We can certainly continue to think in terms of betrayal of the leaders of the CGIL or the incapacity of basic unionism " for Sandro and Giovanni. However, it is certain that the basic unions are limited in their ability to intervene. We must see this as a phase of reconstruction because the labor movement today is confined. The problem is not only the adaptation of the unions, but the adaptation of the workers: their freedom, their right to organize. " We must find a way to organize in the field of representation and that's why we are talking today about rebuilding unions from workers in the workplace, " trade unionists conclude.

Lulu (AL Nancy)

http://www.alternativelibertaire.org/?Italie-Le-syndicalisme-de-base-est-toujours-la
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