Venerdì, 19 Ottobre 2018

Italian govt saddened at CGIL snubbing productivity deal


Rome, November 22 - The Italian government said
Thursday it was disappointed that the nation's biggest trade
union confederation, the left-wing CGIL, decided not to sign a
deal on measures to tackle the problem of low productivity.
The agreement, which was signed by more moderate unions
late on Wednesday, features 2.1 billion euros worth of tax
breaks that the government has promised to allocate over the
next two years for workers that hit productivity targets.
While maintaining the system of nationally bargained
collective contracts for many sectors, the agreement also gives
companies greater scope to introduce flexibility in wage
agreements, including changes to working hours.
It also makes it possible for companies in financial
difficulty to demote workers and pay them lower salaries, if
there is the consent of the unions.
The CGIL refused to sign up, saying the agreement would
reduce workers' real incomes.
It was also frustrated that the government did not agree to
its proposal to remove tax from the so-called 13th salary
Italian workers are paid in December to help with the extra
expense of the holiday period.
"We are very sorry that the CGIL failed to sign, the
reasons they gave do not hold water," Industry Minister Corrado
Passera said Thursday.
Some experts have expressed doubts about how effective the
deal can be without having the nation's biggest union on board.
But Italian Premier Mario Monti hailed the agreement.
"This is an important step forward for economic recovery,"
Monti told a press conference.
Economists have said low productivity has contributed to
Italian firms losing competitiveness and to the sluggish
performance of the Italian economy over the last decade.
Istat figures released on Wednesday suggested that the
Italian economy has been underperforming in the field of
productivity for two decades.
The national statistics agency said productivity increased
in Italy by just 0.5% each year on average in the period from
1992 to 2011.

photo: Industry Minister Corrado Passera.

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