Agreement signed for Fiat Melfi subcontractors

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In May 1998, a collective agreement was signed for 22 companies linked to the Fiat-Sata plant in Melfi, southern Italy. This is the first such joint agreement for a firm's subcontractors.

On 28 May 1998, a first "complementary" company agreement (ie within the terms of the sectoral agreement) was signed covering 22 subcontracting companies linked to the Fiat-Sata plant at Melfi (Potenza). The agreement was signed by the ACM consortium, representing the companies, and the metalworking trade union federations Fim-Cisl,Fiom-Cgil and Uilm-Uil. It concerns 2,400 employees and covers all the subcontracting companies located in the area around the plant, located in the South of Italy (Mezzogiorno), which was built by Fiat as a "greenfield" site.

This agreement is very innovative because it represents the first time that the subcontractors of a company have agreed to negotiate jointly in order to lay down, together with the unions, common working conditions and rules for their workers. The agreement was possible because these companies represent the first link in the subcontracting system, are located close to the Melfi plant and, thanks to their position in the productive cycle, provide a timely supply network.

The agreement sets out a common system of industrial relations aimed at avoiding industrial disputes. It provides for the establishment of a variety of different bilateral bodies:

  1. a single consultative body which will be responsible for dealing with all the information that companies are obliged to give to workers' representatives on investment, vocational training, enforcement of protective laws and so on. This body will be composed of two representatives from each of the signatory union organisations and of representatives from ACM and from the local Potenza employers' organisation, Unione degli Industriali;
  2. a multi-company level committee which will be responsible for preventing possible disputes and looking for mutual solutions. The committee will be composed of representatives from the ACM and from the companies concerned, a local representative from each signatory union organisation and a representative from each company-level worker representation body (Rsu);
  3. an integrated plant-level committee which will be responsible for monitoring the production of new models and new production processes. The committee will include managers responsible for production and for personnel and/or quality, and one Rsu representative for each union organisation; and
  4. a committee for the environment, safety and the prevention of accidents at work will be set up in each facility. This committee will be charged with laying down and verifying provisions on environment and security, and informing the workers concerned. This committee will be composed of the company representative responsible for protective and preventive services, the manager responsible for the staff working in production units, and workers' health and safety representatives.

Workers will receive paid time off to participate in all these joint bodies.

The agreement foresees that specific working time issues will be defined at company level, while requests to work part time will be analysed by the consultative body. Regrading for workers with a work/training contract will be possible after just three years, not taking into account the duration of the training contract. The additional premia paid for night shifts and holidays will be 5% higher than set out in the sector's national collective agreement. A "competitiveness bonus" has also been established, which will provide for an annual increase of ITL 2,052,000. The other parts of the agreement are more "traditional" and concern the qualification of workers and the amount of money to be paid for overtime hours.

The agreement refers to social services within plants and the problem of public transportation, and the partners will deal with these points in the near future. Moreover, the partners have committed themselves to further negotiations to examine the health services available for the workers.

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