It was within the government contract, or the road map that managed to agree on the 5 Stars Movement (M5E) and the League to govern Italy. And now it seems that it could soon be a reality. Italian Deputy Prime Minister and leader grillino, Luigi Di Maio, has proposed the establishment of a minimum salary of nine euros gross the hour, a struggle that his training has been working for years and that is about to be discussed in the Senate, with what could become law in the coming months.
Italy is one of the six countries of the EU (With Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Finland Y Cyprus) that does not have an interprofessional minimum salary. In the case of Italy, this is due to the historical strength of the unions and collective agreements, which provide for the minimum remuneration by sector as set out in Article 36 of the Constitution. Today there are almost 900 national collective agreements but, according to the National Institute of Social Security Italian (Inps), 22% of workers earn a salary less than 9 euros gross per hour. The situation is aggravated in the always impoverished south of Italy, where this percentage rises to 33%.
The figures are even more worrying if you compare Italy with the rest of the EU. The Eurostat data confirms that it is the fifth country in figures of working poors, that is, people who work but nevertheless live below the poverty line. While in Europe 9.4% of workers in 2017 had the risk of being poor, in Italy this figure grows to 12.2%. Spain was the third country in the ranking, with 13.1%.
While in Europe 9.4% of the workers in 2017 had the risk of being poor, in Italy this figure grows to 12.2%
The M5E calculates that with its proposal of law almost three million Italians would have an average increase of compensation of 1.073 euros per year. "We know that there are workers who charge between three and four euros an hour, and we want to remedy this," the senator explains. grillina
Nunzia Catalfo. And stresses that his proposal respects the agreements set by the unions, but wants the minimum of 9 euros gross, because he says that there are many companies that choose "pirate contracts" that do not, especially damaging women and youth . The agreements in Italy theoretically cover all employees, but in recent years there has been an increase in agreements (in 2010 there were about 500) that gives a sense of chaos.
The unions recognize that this is a necessary discussion, but they have not seen
clear the proposal of the M5E. Traditionally, large unions have always opposed the minimum wage because they believe that their national collective agreements already work. The problem is with the little ones. "We are not opposed in principle to the idea of a minimum wage, but in Italy there is already a system of collective bargaining that gives great guarantees to workers," he says. Tania Sacchetti, the representative of CGIL (the largest union in the country). "We think it is good that the proposal of the M5E respect collective agreements, but we fear that a fixed 9 euros instead of raising the lowest wages ends by reducing the low-middle," he says. Marco Marazza, Professor of Labor Law of the Luiss Guido Carli University from Rome, he also has his reservations. "The minimum wage already exists de facto with collective agreements and it would be enough if everyone applied", he says.
Although the first time that Catalfo presented this proposal was in 2013, when the M5E entered the Parliament, we must not forget that Italy, like the whole EU, is in a pre-electoral context. It would not be unreasonable to think that introducing the debate is another asset that grillini they may want to play, given their bad projections in the polls.