Italy's public service workers protest against frozen wages and job insecurity

08 November 2014
“Pubblico sei tu, sblocchiamo il futuro!” The public is you, unlock the future! Under this slogan Italian public service workers have marched for contract renewal and pay rise.

“Pubblico sei tu, sblocchiamo il futuro!” The public is you, unlock the future! Under this slogan Italy's public service unions demonstrated in Rome on Saturday 8 November, with over 100,000 people taking to the streets.

For months, unions have demanded to renegotiate national contracts and salaries after 7 years. Also, they have asked to stop cuts and precarious work in the public administration, and to invest more on training and quality services.

This protest comes after the huge demonstration of 25th October, when a million workers from leading leftist union Cgil marched in Rome against government's labour reform that makes dismissals easier. The trade unions have not been consulted over the reform and prime minister Matteo Renzi stated that he would not discuss the new law with them.

“If the government keeps not replying to our calls, we will go on with the general strike,” said Susanna Camusso, general secretary of Cgil, from Rome.

Saturday's protest marked another important achievement, that is uniting all Italian public sector labour organisations.

“Just like in other countries, in Italy there is a clear attack on trade unions, on their role and function to represent the workers,” says Rosa Pavanelli, general secretary of PSI, who sent a solidarity message to Italian unions.

“Your protest joins the big demonstrations of British workers over pay rise, and the extraordinary rally in South Korea against privatisation of public services and pension reform. PSI supports the many working people who are protesting and striking in various parts of the world to defend rights, invest in quality services and fight against inequality and injustice.”

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