Italy: Social partners and INPS sign agreement to measure representativeness

The Italian social partners signed an agreement on 16 March with the National Institute of Social Security (INPS) on how to measure unions’ representativeness.

From April 2015, Italy's National Institute of Social Security INPS will proceed to collect, collate and communicate data on trade unions' membership on a monthly basis. Data will be derived from information communicated by companies through the Uniemens model, including information on employees’ trade union contributions, job qualifications, and whether a national collective bargaining agreement applies to them. INPS will collate this information and pass it on to the National Economic and Labour Council (CNEL). 

From May, according to the agreement, CNEL will calculate and certify trade unions’ representativeness by weighting membership data and election results data for employee representative bodies in individual companies. It should be noted that an agreement with CNEL has yet to be signed in order to define this procedure. 

The agreement stems from the social partners signing the Consolidated Act on Representation (TU 2014) (in Italian, 320 KB PDF) on 10 January 2014. The organisations involved were the Italian General Confederation of Labour (CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions (CISL), the Union of Italian Workers (UIL) and employer organisation the General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria). TU 2014 defines the rules intended to:

  • establish the unions’ representative status through elections;
  • stipulate how to hold such elections;
  • define units and appropriate sectors to be represented;
  • make sure that representativeness is guaranteed;
  • establish the delegations with the responsibility to bargain;
  • define sanctions and enforcement, grievance and arbitration procedures.

Unions reaching a representativeness threshold of at least 5% are entitled to bargain at sectoral level. National collective bargaining agreements must be signed by unions reaching a total representativeness threshold of at least 50% +1. Such thresholds are to be measured on the basis of the simple mean between the percentage of union members and the results of the workplace (RSU) elections. TU 2014 assigned this task to INPS and CNEL.

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