Rome saw fresh protests today (Friday 13 April) as unions called a demonstration against recent labour reforms imposed by the Italian government that have left hundreds of thousands of workers without pay or a pension.
The reforms imposed a rise in the minimum retirement age that has seen ‘younger’ Italian pensioners without an income. These workers, the so-called ‘esodati’, accepted severance packages ahead of retirement in order to help companies downsize but who have not received their benefits. Furthermore, they are ineligible to receive a pension as they opted to quit before the minimum retirement age which was raised at the start of the year
The director general of the state-backed pension fund INPS, Mauro Nori, stated to MPs this week that according to his calculations there were 130,000 left in this dire position thanks to the reforms.
The Labour Minister Elsa Fornero now says there are some 65,000 people without pay or a pension, although a month ago she indicated that the number was as high as 350,000.
The CGIL, CISL and UIL trade union confederations accused the government of presenting false figures to play down the problem and are calling for an immediate solution to this ‘social emergency’.
“The government must have the courage to take a step back and not use fake numbers,’ Susanna Camusso, leader of the CGIL, told the assembled crowds who had marched from Piazza Exedra to Piazza SS Apostoli in the Italian capital.
‘People who have generously chosen to leave the workplace to make room for the young – today the government says we do not know what to do with you.
‘We are fed up of hearing people who have worked many years and then forced to leave their jobs because of the crisis described as ‘privileged”
‘If the government does not immediately open discussions with us, it knows that we will be in the streets again. We will not let the workers down.’
Tom Gill blogs at revolting-europe.com
Article originally published April 11, updated April 13