National collective agreements signed for tourism sector

Download article in original language : IT0309101NIT.DOC

Two national collective agreements for workers in the Italian tourism sector were signed in July 2003. The agreements' main provisions include an 11.5% wage increase over four years, the introduction of a supplementary health insurance scheme and the enhancement of decentralised bargaining.

The tourism sector is very important for the Italian economy, with an annual turnover of over EUR 77 billion, representing 12% of Italy’s GDP. The sector employs about 1.5 million workers, of whom 250,000 are seasonal workers. Undeclared and clandestine activities are prevalent in the sector, representing about 20% of the total turnover.

On 19 and 22 July 2003, after 18 months of negotiations, two new national collective agreements for the tourism industry were signed by the sectoral trade union organisations affiliated to the General Confederation of Italian Workers (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, Cgil), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Unions (Confederazione Italiana Sindacato Lavoratori, Cisl) and the Union of Italian Workers (Unione Italiana del Lavoro, Uil) - Filcams, Fisascat and Uilctus respectively. The two separate agreements were signed with representatives of the companies affiliated to the Confcommercio and Confesercenti employers' organisations. A third agreement, covering companies affiliated to Confindustria operating in the tourism sector, has not yet been signed but should be similar to the two agreements concluded in July.

The two new agreements have essentially the same content. The main points of the accords are as follows:

  • the trade union organisations will be able to negotiate workers’ employment conditions at decentralised level. Negotiations will take place at company level for companies employing more than 15 employees, and at local (provincial) level for all companies employing fewer than 15 employees and for all companies not covered by a national agreement. Regional negotiations will take place for travel agencies;
  • wage bargaining at decentralised level will be used to define performance-related pay (premio di risultato). The agreements list, as examples, some of the indicators to be used in calculating performance-related pay;
  • a joint committee will be set up in order to study the possible developments of new joint bodies which will be responsible for income support where workers lose their job or are suspended due to a company crisis;
  • in terms of labour flexibility, part-time workers will be allowed to work up to a maximum of 180 overtime hours per year. Fixed-term employment contracts can be extended, following an agreement among the partners at decentralised level, from the present 12 to 24 months. The agreements also define the criteria for hiring temporary agency workers, who should not exceed 8% of the total workforce employed by a company on open-ended contracts. A joint committee will be set up to 'develop in detail specific seasonal work tools and regulations';
  • workers employed on fixed-term contracts will have a right to be recruited in the same workplace and with the same job classification level within a year of the expiry of their previous employment contract. Furthermore, the agreements entrust sectoral joint bodies with the development of initiatives aimed at training adequately workers hired on fixed-term contracts;
  • a supplementary health insurance fund will be set up, financed by employers and workers. A monthly contribution of EUR 10 will be paid in respect of full-time workers on open-ended contracts (EUR 7 from the employer and EUR 3 from the worker) and EUR 7 in respect of part-time workers on open-ended contracts (EUR 5 from the employer and EUR 2 from the worker). An ad hoc joint committee responsible for management of the fund will be set up before 31 October 2003. Workers hired on fixed-term contracts will be able to join the fund, but will have to cover their own contributions during non-working periods;
  • workers will receive a wage increase of EUR 118 per month, equivalent to an average collectively agreed wage increase of 11.5% over the full four-year duration of the agreements (1 January 2002 to 31 December 2005). The wage increase will be paid in four instalments - EUR 40 in July 2003, EUR 30 in December 2003, EUR 30 in September 2004 and EUR 18 in July 2005. The partners decided to extend the duration of the pay part of the agreements from two to four years, given the difficulties currently facing the sector. The pay part of the agreements will thus expire at the same time as the non-pay 'regulatory' part;
  • a one-off payment of EUR 300 will be paid to workers in two instalments in August 2003 and January 2004;
  • companies will top up the wages of female workers on obligatory maternity leave (five months) to 100% of their regular pay (the statutory maternity allowance is equivalent to 80% of pay); and
  • the partners will draw up a series of requests and present them to the government, in order to promote specific initiatives, at institutional level, on vocational training policies and on all other issues which influence the development of the sector (such as tax credits, streamlining administrative and contributory procedures, and tenders).

The signatories expressed their satisfaction with the results of the negotiations. The trade unions underlined the fundamental role played by concertation which, according to Gianni Baratta, the general secretary of Fisascat-Cisl, led to the signature of a 'very innovative agreement' and, according to Ivano Corraini, the general secretary of Filcams Cgil, allowed for the negotiation of 'very delicate issues such as working time and flexible employment contracts'.

Useful? Interesting? Tell us what you think. Hide comments

Eurofound welcomes feedback and updates on this regulation

Add new comment