Yesterday’s meeting between the executive team of ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo, the Italian State’s airline startup – and union representatives did not end in an agreement.
This means that the hirings of an estimate of 2,800 workers for the startup, which will happen on October the 15th, will be set by ITA’s own rules, out of line with the national collective agreement. These are expected to start from tomorrow.
Alitalia workers had to participate in the same hiring process other workers have had, the absorption of ex-Alitalia employees into ITA is not assured.
According to sources cited by Il Sole 24 Ore business newspaper, the disagreement happened halfway in the two-hour meeting, the airline unilaterally proposing its own work contract. According to the unions, ITA’s payments could be down 38% versus Alitalia’s, with the largest reductions affecting especially flight crews.
Alitalia workers were waiting outside of the building, and reacted with frustration after the negotiations results were announced. The union representatives symbolically occupied the meeting room for six hours, and an air workers strike was announced for September 24th.
«The union organizations have decided on not abandoning the negotiations table», the unions said according to Corriere della Sera, until the company agrees to start a serious and constructive negotiation, devoid unilateral initiatives. The mobilization that will have to guarantee full levels of employment and the application of the collective work contract becomes, therefore, permanent».
In a press release also replicated by Corriere della Sera, ITA stated «the proposals received are not, unfortunately, acceptable and do not even constitute a basis for negotiation compatible with the complexity and timing of the challenge that the company must face in view of the start of operations in October 15. The proposals [are] […] above all, oriented towards a cost recovery that is inconsistent with the objective reality of the facts«.
The airline also reminded that «the success of ITA depends on an actual industrial discontinuity» and that the payments set will respect the minimum set by the collective convention.
Negotiations that happened the same day between unions and Italy’s Ministry of Labour have also finished without an agreement. Unions wanted the continuity of cassa integrazione payment (Italy’s wage guarantee payment) for Alitalia workers left without a job for the entire duration of the industrial plan of ITA, which ends in 2025. The Italian government only agreed to extend the payments for another year, starting September 22.
According to Economist Ugo Arrigo to Sky TG24 news channel, the cost of the operation to the Italian state could reach 2 billions euros for an estimate of 7,500 workers.