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Strikes: Covid freezes protests in 2020 but Tpl leads the ranking, the report of the Guarantor


Lockdown effect on strikes in essential public services: in fact, in 2020, a total of 1,473 absences from work were proclaimed; 873 fewer than in 2019 which recorded 2,346 protests. A number that is further reduced net of the ad effect. In fact, following interventions by the Guarantor or as a result of spontaneous revocations, the 1,473 strikes proclaimed overall decreased to 895, a drastic drop compared to the 1,463 recorded the previous year. To photograph the situation on the front of trade union conflict at the time of Covid is the report by the president of the Commission to guarantee the implementation of the law on the strike in essential public services, Giuseppe Santoro-Passarelli, presented to Parliament. In addition to the lockdown and the spread of smart working in services and in the PA, the “moratorium” of strikes in public sectors already severely tested by the epidemic that the Guarantor has agreed with the unions and which has determined the decline in protests had “full compliance” by all the major trade unions, “to which the high sense of responsibility shown must be recognized”, comments Santoro-Passarelli. Moratorium not repeated in the so-called “phase two” during which it was preferred to opt rather for an “intense work of moral suasion” towards the social partners. But the criticality of our system remains not so much the violation of the rules as the recurrence of the conflict, with more strikes even in short periods of time, as well as the announcement effect that in fact produces a “vulnerable impact” similar to a strike actually carried out This is a phenomenon that can be countered by timely information which at the moment, however, is not up to the task for the Guarantor. “Apart from the announcement of the strike, it cannot be said that the media provide adequate information on its progress and, above all, on the actual consistency of the proclaiming trade unions and their effective ability to vulnerable the service concerned”. However, despite the sharp slowdown in protests due to the Covid moratorium and the long lockdown, the city public transport sector remains to record the highest number of strikes among those essential public services whose provision could not take place under the smart regime working: 160 abstentions from work compared to 250 in 2019. Environmental hygiene follows with 102 strikes, compared to the proceeding 209 to protest against the delay in providing workers with safety devices that exposed workers to actual safety risks. Protests in the Air Transport service, one of the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and containment measures, were also drastically reduced: 68 strikes of national importance were proclaimed in 2020 compared to 147 in 2019. Also in the Transport service railway unions have “responsibly adapted their policy to the new, extraordinary context”, reducing the use of abstention from work: overall there were 24 strikes between national and local people compared to 59 in 2019. “Responsibly halved” stops in the sector Cleaning / Multiservices: 58 strikes were carried out compared to the previous 127. But the greatest reduction was recorded, due to smart working, in the Ministries and Local Authorities Section: in addition to a national strike by the public sector, another 8 abstentions were carried out in the Ministries (there were 19 in the previous year) while 62 in the Regions and local autonomies (105 n el 2019). Even in the Education and Research Sector, the decline in conflict was conditioned by the closure of schools of all levels: in 2020 there were a total of 6 abstentions in universities and research institutions and 19 in schools (compared to 12 and 29 in 2019) . On the other hand, there is a high level of conflict in the Justice Sector, with 21 abstentions by lawyers (36 in 2019) motivated in part by problems relating to the organization of the Judicial Offices and the reform of the prescription discipline; as well as from the beginning of March, from those relating to the containment of the epidemic in the Courts. Even the Justices of the Peace and Honorary Judges gave rise to 5 abstentions from service, motivated by the Government’s failure to implement requests relating to the economic and social security treatment and, following the worsening of the contagion situation, by the lack of adequate welfare and social security safeguards. Finally, the country’s economic framework, despite a general recovery in economic activity made possible by a broad vaccination campaign, remains dramatic. For this reason, concludes the Guarantor, the risk is that the next few months will bring with them a new warm autumn: “we cannot but look with some concern at the way industrial relations will develop from next autumn: that is, if they they will be more confrontational or more participatory “. And to avoid this, therefore, Santoro-Passarelli recalls the need for a “social pact” that places work at the center of the political agenda in a framework that sees interventions rotate around Pnrr resources, active policies, training, support for damaged categories.



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