Minutes of the Presidency Office meeting – 2008/05/20

MINUTES OF THE PRESIDENCY OFFICE MEETING

The Presidency Office of the Friuli Venezia Giulia/Veneto/South-Western Croatia CGIL, CISL, UIL, SSSH Interregional Trade Union Council met on 20th May 2008 in Trieste, at the headquarters in via Polonio 5.

Attending members: Luca Visentini (UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), Emilio Viafora (CGIL Veneto), Monica Ukmar (CGIL Friuli Venezia Giulia, substitute of Roberto Treu), Jadranka Tomašić (SSSH South-Western Croatia), Slobodan Kapor (SSSH South-Western Croatia) and Josip Šišović (SSSH South-Western Croatia).

Absent on leave: Elvio Di Lucente (CISL Friuli Venezia Giulia, substitute of Lorenzo Garziera who resigned) and Ivica Perinić (SSSH South-Western Croatia).

Other attending persons: Claudio Cinti (UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), as lecturer on an item of the agenda, Claudio Zaccarin (CGIL Veneto), as guest, and Michele Berti (UIL Friuli Venezia Giulia), as minute-taker.

Agenda of the Presidency Office Meeting:

  1. Appointment of a Vice-president of IR.T.U.C.;
  2. Confirmation of the vacant member of IR.T.U.C. General Assembly;
  3. Report on the IR.T.U.C.s Coordinating Committee meeting of 18th March 2008;
  4. Implementation of 2008 activities;
  5. Any other business.

At 11.23, Luca Visentini, acting as President, opened and chaired the meeting of the Presidency Office.

1. In compliance with article 4, paragraph 3 of the Articles of Association and as this was the first meeting of the Presidency Office after the reappointment of IR.T.U.C. members, the Vice-president was appointed. The following candidate was designated:

  • Jadranka Tomašić (confirmed) for SSSH South-Western Croatia.

The Presidency Office unanimously approved the proposal.

2. The members of SSSH South–Western Croatia announced that – due to internal problems – they had not yet appointed the remaining member of the General Assembly, which had not been indicated in the previous General Assembly meeting. However, they noted that the candidate will be from the tourism trade union and that his/her name will be notified in the following weeks.

3. A short report was made on the meeting of IR.T.U.C.s Coordinating Committee held in Brussels and attended by Luca Visentini and Michele Berti at the E.T.U.C. headquarters on 18th March. In this meeting – after the E.T.U.C. Congress in Seville in 2007 and the consequent reappointments in the Confederal Secretary Office, Walter Cerfeda will chair responsible for the IR.T.U.C.s until 2011 – the new members of the Steering Committee of the IR.T.U.C.s Coordination Committee were appointed, they now include Roberto Treu, who was already a member, and Luca Visentini, as new member. The new President is Manfred Klöpper (President of IR.T.U.C. Weser-Ems/Noordnederland), German, while the two new Vice-presidents are Joana Agudo (IR.T.U.C. Pyrenees/Mediterranee and outgoing President of the Coordinating Committee), Spanish, and Luca Visentini, Italian. Luca Visentini was also appointed as member of the E.T.U.C. Permanent Committee “Work and Employment”, as representative of the IR.T.U.C.s Coordination Committee, while Roberto Treu was appointed as member of the E.T.U.C. Working Group “Workers’ Participation”, always as representative of the IR.T.U.C.s Coordination Committee. Not all the representatives of IR.T.U.C.s Coordination Committee have been appointed in other E.T.U.C. Working Groups. Therefore, this will be done in the next meeting at the E.T.U.C. headquarters in Brussels on 26th November. Finally, IR.T.U.C. application, filed with the other 6 IR.T.U.C., for the financing of the project on collective bargaining submitted by E.T.U.C. to the European Commission has been accepted. E.T.U.C. will inform the 7 IR.T.U.C.s if the project will be approved and, in that case, also on the implementation steps.

4. As decided in the previous General Assembly meeting, 2008 activities will focussed on the restructuring in the shipbuilding sector in Italy and in Croatia. The other action was the study on collective bargaining in the tourism sector in the two countries. However, as IR.T.U.C. will devote much efforts to the E.T.U.C. project (see point 3.), it would be more reasonable to focus on a sector which is closer to shipbuilding. In fact, during an IR.T.U.C. short working meeting held on December 2007, it was suggested to replace the study on tourism with a study on iron and steal. Moreover, as in previous years, it was suggested that the activity ended with a workshop on the collective bargaining on the selected sector and between restructuring policies in the shipbuilding sector in Italy and in Croatia. With a view to supporting the values of the workshops, a survey/study on the same topic was suggested, envisaging a double version: on paper and CD. The Presidency Office was required to vote on these proposals. After a short debate confirming the agreement among members, a vote was held. The Presidency Office unanimously approved the proposals.
Claudio Cinti, local Secretary of the Gorizia section of UILM, was invited to provide a short overview of the situation in the shipbuilding sector in Italy, highlighting future prospects. In his speech, the speaker pointed out that Fincantieri – Cantieri Navali S.p.A. is a State-owned company and has the biggest share of the market. The speaker explained its restructuring in many sectors and its leading role at world level in the sector of cruise ships. He pointed out, following a change in the majority at the general elections of the Parliament, the proposal on stock listing – made by the previous government – will now be assessed by the new government and it is not certain when the proposal will be put on the agenda. The competition from emerging countries – supported by the cost of local labour which is significantly lower – requires Fincantieri – Cantieri Navali S.p.A. to draw up a major investment plan also in terms of technology and innovation. Worries do remain on the identification of resources, as the Italian government does not seem able to find the necessary financing in the next few years. This has led to the proposal to have the company listed with a view to finding the necessary resources. The three main Italian trade unions of the sector do not completely agree among them on the restructuring proposal and they actually do disagree on stock-listing.
Jadranka Tomašić reported on the situation of the sector in Croatia, which is only partially similar to the situation in Italy. The restructuring of the shipbuilding sector in Croatia depends on the EU membership, as the government needs to implement three actions: to implement the veto on State aids, to introduce free competition and to pay the debts accumulated in the past. In Croatia, restructuring will involve five shipbuilding yards, which are all owned by the State. The European Commission has required the Croatian government to draw up a restructuring plan in line with the criteria set for the membership process. This plan, which was not made public, will be submitted to the European Commission next week. Croatian trade unions fear that the Croatian government intends to restructure the sector exclusively by privatising it, which would mean redundancies and the conversion of some of the five yards into different plants, especially in the marine-tourist sector. The five Croatian yards, which are different in terms of size and importance, wants to survive, but some of them are likely to be merged. At any rate, trade unions are very firm on the maintenance of the current employment levels. She asked for a meeting between trade unions in the iron and steel industry which are IR.T.U.C. members, as decided in the General Assembly meeting, after the Croatian government has submitted its plan to the European Commission. As this would make the plan public. A proposal was made to accept the request from Jadranka Tomašić with a view to holding a debate on restructuring policies in the shipbuilding sector in Italy and in Croatia and to laying the foundations of the above survey/study. A further proposal was made to hold this meeting in a shipyard in Italy or in Croatia, i.e. either in Monfalcone or in Rijeka. The Presidency Office unanimously approved the proposal.

5. Jadranka Tomašić voiced the request form the STH trade union in the trading sector to have a copy of the corporate integrative contracts of COOP Nordest, as agreed in the General Assembly meeting. She was told that this contract has not been accepted by workers, who rejected the economic part in an ad hoc referendum. Therefore, a new negotiation must be organised. She was assured that the part on the regulations will be sent to her.
Croatian colleagues asked whether the textile sections of CGIL, CISL and UIL have relations with Fratelli Landini Calzature S.r.l., an Italian company with a branch in Segna in Croatia which has not been paying wages for nine months now, the company has 400 female workers. The Croatian textile trade union TOKG asked for support from the Italian counterpart to overcome this situation. Claudio Zaccarin assured her that he will gather information on this company and will get in touch with her as soon as possible.

As no requests to take the floor were made, Luca Visentini officially closed the meeting of the General Assembly at 12.29.

The minute-taker
Michele Berti