Marginalised older wokers take part in a union protest in Italy. Photo: CGIL
Solidarity with Italian unions over pensions
The three main Italian trade union confederations (CGIL, CISL and UIL) are demonstrating in Rome tomorrow, Thursday, in defence of nearly a third of a million people who have been hit by a particularly pernicious effect of the economic crisis.
Knowing that they would be retiring within two years anyway, this group of 63 and 64-year olds took early retirement: but then when the pension age was raised to 67, their circumstances were altered overnight and their early retirement provisions would not stretch far enough – so they now need to return to job-hunting in their mid-sixties!
The Italian Government disputes the unions’ estimate of the number of people affected (it says there are ‘only’ 55,000 people suffering this fate) but have been unwilling to make concessions, so the Italian unions are demonstrating their increasing unity by protesting together in central Rome.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber has sent them the following message of solidarity:
“The TUC and British workers greet Italian comrades on their national mobilisation on 26 July and the action of Italian unions in defence of work, development and growth. The economic crisis hits those who are not responsible for it, workers, old and young alike, all the most vulnerable in society. But the TUC and European trade unions have long maintained that those should not be the ones who pay for the crisis.
In the UK as in Italy the reforms of pension systems and the labour market dictated by austerity plans have been imposed upon us, without consultation and most of all disregarding the alternative proposals for growth that trade unions in Europe are putting forward. We greet all the participants to this day of action and wish CGIL, CISL and UIL well for a rapid resolution to the issue at hand.”