Unions call strikes to oppose government reforms

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In late December 2001, Italy's three main trade union confederations - Cgil, Cisl and Uil - united in calling strikes in January 2002 to protest against reform laws on pensions, taxation and the labour market passed by the government.

January 2002 will see a wave of industrial action across Italy. Strikes have been called to increase pressure in negotiations over the renewals of the collective agreements for the transport and public administration sectors. Furthermore, in December 2001, the three main trade union confederations - the General Confederation of Italian Workers (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, Cgil), the Italian Confederation of Workers' Unions (Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori, Cisl) and the Union of Italian Workers (Unione Italiana del Lavoro, Uil) - put aside recent differences to call joint strike action to protest against policy of the centre-right government.

The union confederations' decision was sparked by the government's adoption on 20 December 2002 of three 'proxy laws' (ie laws issued directly by the government on the basis of a 'proxy' provided by parliament) on social security and pensions, income tax and labour market reforms (IT0112127N and IT0110104F). Cgil, Cisl and Uil accuse the government of having developed the reforms without genuine negotiations among the social partners, basing them exclusively on the positions of the Confindustria employers' confederation.

The strike action called by the three confederations will be a rolling programme of four-hour stoppages at regional level. Strikes will start in Puglia on 14 January 2002 and will end on 29 January in Valle d'Aosta, Piedmont, Tuscany and Campania. Workplace meetings and public demonstrations will also be held. The industrial action and its context will be reported in forthcoming EIRO feature.

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