Unions challenge Mario Draghi with a general strike in Italy



The first budget law of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has been deemed "unsatisfactory" by the main Italian union, CGIL, historically linked to the left, and by the center-left union UIL. They have proclaimed an eight-hour general strike for next December 16, except in the health sector. Both trade union centrals cThey consider that the government has done little to fight inequalities in the budget law, whose debate in the Senate is scheduled for December 17. Specifically, CGIL and UIL consider the measures on the treasury, pensions, school, industrial policies, the fight against relocation and the fight against job insecurity, especially for young people and women, to be unsatisfactory.

The Draghi government had planned a tax cut for workers and companies of 12,000 million euros, but the two unions criticize this reduction and call for “a more efficient redistribution of wealth, to reduce inequalities and generate balanced structural development and stable employment. ».

The second union in the country, CISL, whose general secretary Luigi Sbarra considers that a general strike is inopportune has not joined the general strike: “I don't see any underlying reasons to proclaim a general mobilization. Social relations will be set on fire, the threads of dialogue with companies will be broken and the world of work will be isolated, when, instead, the country needs cohesion and responsibility to build together a perspective for growth and distribution ”,

Draghi irritation

With this union challenge, the honeymoon of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi ends, called in February by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, to face the economic and health emergency, given the fragility of the government of Giuseppe Conte, who did not have a sufficient majority to face the crisis that the country was experiencing.

With the general strike, the climate of national unity created by the Draghi government, which includes all the political parties, except the Brothers of Italy, is broken. The CGIL union is closely tied to the left, especially the Democratic Party. The current Minister of Labor, Andrea Orlando, is part of the left wing of this party.

Deep has been the irritation of Mario Draghi, according to the immediate reaction of Palacio Chigi, seat of the government, revealing the anger of the prime minister at an unexpected general strike. "The general strike is unjustified and unmotivated, in substance and in form," said sources from Palacio Chigi, who defend the budget law and its attention to social solidarity, criticizing the CGIL leader, Maurizio Landini, for wanting to "Mark the agenda" and wish to "have a voice in everything." Sources from Palacio Chigi, with numbers in hand, assure that what the two unions that have declared the strike say is not true, and they explain why the general mobilization of workers is "not understandable": "The budget law is very expansive and the government has supported workers, retirees and families with important facts, measures and resources. It is not true - Chigi palace sources add - that those who have less will receive less, and the numbers prove it. It was decided to carry out an expansive maneuver precisely to accompany the country out of the dramatic emergency of the Covid, in the face of the multiple situations of hardship and potential impoverishment derived from the crisis.

The surprise of a call for a general strike has been great in the political and business world, because it comes at a time when everything is flattering for the Draghi government, including international media and economic organizations. After two decades of economic stagnation, Italy, the third largest economy in the eurozone, this year will grow 6.4%, as confirmed by international organizations. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) highlighted last Wednesday that Italy is growing faster than all developed countries to the point of being described as a European economic locomotive.

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