Following the reorganisation of the Italian state-owned Fincantieri Group, only two of the three affected unions have signed up to the new arrangements at the company’s eight yards.
Fincantieri’s agreement with the FIT-CISL and UILM unions includes a phased reduction of the workforce, an economic assistance plan for workers affected by temporary layoffs, and a commitment to keep all of the company’s eight Italian yards open. The deal, which was concluded in Rome after a lengthy meeting between government officials, company executives and union leaders, was marred by the refusal of the FIOM union to join the other two industry bodies in signing it.
The agreement will lead to the elimination of more than 1,200 jobs through various measures including early retirement, financial incentives, workers moving to part-time jobs and voluntary outplacements. The Italian state’s ‘cassa integrazione’ system will fund up to three quarters of the salaries of those workers left temporarily without employment.
Secretary general of the FIOM-CGIL union, Maurizio Landini, called on the Italian Government to intervene regarding the industrial policies of the group, adding: “This would fulfil the commitments made by the same Government on 6 June last year with regard to ensuring the maintenance of all the sites and maintaining jobs. For the new Government not to protect jobs and production of as important a group in terms of industry as Fincantieri would not be a good start compared to the declared intention to initiate a new cycle of economic growth of our country.” To underline their opposition to the current situation, FIOM members at the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa have stopped work on an Oceania vessel for delivery in March.
Despite FIOM’s absence from the deal, the decision to keep all of Fincantieri’s yards open is a key win for union negotiators, as it represents a significant turnaround from last May’s plan to close both the Sestri Ponente and Castellammare di Stabia yards with the loss of 2,550 jobs.