Cisl agrees restructuring
In July 1999, the general council of Italy's Cisl trade union confederation decided on a major restructuring of its sectoral federations, which will reduce the number of affiliates from 36 to 11.
At a meeting on 12-13 July 1999, the general council of the Italian Confederation of Workers' Unions (Confederazione Italiana Sindacati dei Lavoratori, Cisl), the second largest Italian trade union confederations (with 1,909,796 members in 1998) launched an organisational revolution. Cisl, which was a pioneer in Italian trade union organisation during the 1950s by creating sectoral unions, has decided to reduce the number of these sectoral unions from 36 to 11. There were signs of these impending changes at Cisl's organisational and programmatic assembly in Naples in May 1999 (IT9905113N).
The reasons behind the decision to restructure relate to the difficulties that Cisl's sectoral unions have in supporting their own decentralised organisations, because of both a reduction in membership levels and the difficulties in organising the new types of "atypical" workers, who tend to be geographically scattered. The revised organisational structure will consist of the following new sectoral unions:
- the Industry Federation (Federazione dell'Industria), bringing together Flerica (energy and chemical workers), Filta (textile, garments and footwear workers), Fim (metalworkers) and Filca (construction and allied workers);
- the Civil Service Employees' Federation (Federazione dipendenti della pubblica amministrazione), merging Fist (local public service workers) and Fpi (central and peripheral civil service workers);
- the Private Service Federation (Federazione dei servizi privati a rete), unifying Flaei (electricity workers), Fistel (information, entertainment and telecommunication workers), Flp (postal workers) and Fiba (banking and insurance workers);
- the Education, Training, University and Research Federation (Federazione del sistema di istruzione, della formazione, dell'università e della ricerca), merging Cisl-scuola (education workers at all levels), Cisl-università (university workers) and Cisl-ricerca (research workers);
- the Agricultural and Food Workers' Federation (Federazione dei lavoratori del settore agricolo ed alimentare), which is the result of a process of unification already in progress between the sectoral unions Fisba and Fat;
- the Transport Workers' Federation (Federazione dei lavoratori dei Trasporti), merging all the transport, service and environment workers' unions; and
- the Federation of Security Workers (Federazione dei lavoratori della sicurezza) bringing together the firefighters' union and the state police union.
Three existing federations -Fisascat (commerce, service and tourism workers), Fnp (retired workers) and Ugc (farmers) - will remain in place. The statute of two new bodies - the Coordination of Independent Workers in Commerce and Services (Coordinamento lavoratori autonomi del commercio e servizi, Clacs) and the Atypical and Temporary Workers' Association (Associazione lavoratori atipici ed interinali, Alai) - will be defined during Cisl's next congress.
The unification process will be verified by the Cisl executive committee before June 2000, in order to achieve a definitive sectoral structure before the next congress in 2001.