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Italian opera workers secure first collective agreement in 20 years


Italian opera workers secure first collective agreement in 20 years

Workers at Italy’s opera-symphonic foundations have voted to accept the terms of a renewed collective agreement in the sector, ending a 20-year impasse in negotiations with employers.

The agreement with UNI Global Union affiliates, SLC-CGIL and FISTEL-CISL, together with other unions representing workers in the sector, comes after workers took successive strike action at the premiere of every opera since 17 October 2023.

After lengthy negotiations, the parties agreed to split the renewal into two phases, the first covering the years 2019-2020-2021 and the second covering 2022-2023-2024. The first phase provides a 4 per cent monthly wage increase starting from January 2024, a one-off payment of 8 per cent of the average salary, as well as other bonuses. The unions will now begin negotiating new terms and wage increases for the second phase.

Significantly, the economic bargaining period is now linked to the civil service negotiations, which take place every three years.

Riccardo Fazioli from FISTEL-CISL said:

 “This is a good agreement and an important first step to see us getting back to the norm of negotiating a new contract every three years. The climate has changed, and we have shown that we are determined to build our union movement and keep on improving salaries and working conditions.”

 Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI Media, Entertainment & Arts, said:

 “The courageous actions by striking opera workers made a big impact and forced employers to come to the bargaining table. We congratulate our affiliates SLC-CGIL and FISTEL-CISL and all the unions involved, and trust that employers will show willing to negotiate in the future.”