Sunday, October 26, 2014

Italy's workers defend their rights

 A one million strong protest was held in the Italian capital, Rome, against Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's plans for to weaken workers rights in the labour market.

 The protesters are angry in particular at job prospects for the young - youth unemployment is at a record 44.2%.  Those who do manage to find work are often employed on temporary contracts which offer little in the way of security or benefits.

Susanna Camusso, head of Italy’s largest trade union, the CGIL, told the crowds: "We want work for everyone, and work with rights. This is a demonstration for those without work, without rights, those who suffer, who have no certainties for the future." She added: "We are here and we're not going away. We will strike, and use all our strength to fight to change this government's policies." This is the first large demonstration by unions against the Democratic Party (PD), with which they have historic ties. The unions would hold another demonstration on November 8.

In his bid to reboot the economy and lure in foreign investors, Renzi wants to make change to Article 18 so it easier for companies to fire people and introduce a system by which job protection and benefits are earned by workers over time.

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