Home    Lista RSU    Guida Sindacale    Accordi Importanti    Indici Tematici    Storico    Contattaci    Iscriviti    Sindacati    Ricerca

From: Relazioni Internazionali; Politica aziendale e risultati economici; Documents in English

4th IWIS Conference Paris
June 8-10, 1989

             4th IWIS Conference            Paris, June 8-10, 1989

                               Country Presentation



         In the last two years the Italian Government has been formed by
         Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals.
         The Prime Minister  has  been the Christian Democrat Ciriaco De
         In this very last week a crisis  occurred, but in the end a new
         Government will be  formed by the same coalition  of  political
         parties, probably with a new Prime Minister.
         In the last  years  the  political atmosphere has been more and
         more oriented towards transforming  the  public  companies into
         private ones and weakening the Welfare State approach.
         One of the main reasons for this is that private companies have
         been strongly reorganised in these years, with good results for
         the companies themselves  and for the stockholders,  and  some-
         times for the workers too.
         On the contrary,  the  Public  Sector  suffers of many malfunc-
         tions, great delays and considerable inefficiency.  The Private
         is becoming the model to which  the  Public  Sector refers: the
         British model by  Margaret  Thachter is gaining  popularity  in
         This is feared  for part of the Sanity, of the Railroads and of
         the major Banks, until now entirely public.

         In 1988 the members of the unions were 9,165,000 :
         4,743,000 (52%) in CGIL (Communist influence)
         3,080,000 (33%) in CISL (Christian Democrat influence)
         1,342,000 (13%) in UIL  (Socialist influence)

         The unemployed people, about 3  millions,  represent 13% of the
         working population (24 million people).
         A significant part of the unemployment (50%) is  represented by
         young people looking for their first work activity.
         The inflation rate is about 7%.
         The purchasing power  of  wages  and salaries has quite rapidly
         increased in the Public Sector,  and it has rather decreased in
         the Private Sector, especially in the industrial one.

         The next Metalmechanical  workers  contract,  which  is  to  be
         renewed in 1990 and which also applies to all IBM workers, will
         be particularly focused  on  higher  wages for all workers, due
         also to the fact that productivity  in  the industrial area has
         enormously increased in the last five years.
         The merit salary, so much characteristic of IBM,  is  spreading
         rapidly through the  other  companies, both private and public.
         In recent years important contracts have been signed at company
         level (FIAT cars,  OLIVETTI computers,  ...)  in  which  salary
         increases are directly related to the economic  results  of the
         company and to the productivity increases.
         The component of  wages, automatically connected to the cost of
         living, is on the contrary loosing importance and weight.

         2) IBM ITALY IN 1988

         In 1988 the  results  achieved by IBM Italy were the following,
         shown with the percentage increment on 1987 results :

         REVENUE total        4530   million US $      (+21.9%)
                 from Italy   2690        "            (+14.1%)
                 from export  1840        "            (+35.5%)
         PROFIT                400        "            (+26.0%)
         INVESTMENTS           350        "            (-3.4%)

         The mean inflation rate in Italy in 1988 was about 6.0%
         At the end of the year 13809 people  were working in IBM Italy,
         of which 3503 in the production plants (2935 in Vimercate, near
         Milan, and 568 in Santa Palomba, near Rome).
         There were 205 employees working in the Software  Laboratory in
         Rome and 98 employees working in the Scientific Centres in Rome
         and Pisa.
         During 1988 431  people resigned, and 792 people were employed.
         The women represented 20.3% of the workers.
         At the end of 1988 249 people were working with a part time con
         tract (242 women and 7 men).

         As far as personnel expenses were  concerned,  IBM  Italy spent
         the following sums during 1988 :

         Wages and salaries           711   million US  $       (+10.4%)
         Integrative Pension Plan      10        "
         Accident Insurance Plan        5        "
         Medical Insurance Plan         4        "
         Cafeteria                      1.5      "
         Special awards & Contests      2.5      "

         As far as  the  plants  were  concerned,  the production had an
         increase of 27% on 1987, and the  added  value  was  about 45%.
         The redeployment from plants has been practically absent during

         The number of sales representatives had an increase of 22.7% on
         the preceding year.
         The dealers were 650 and the vendors 380.

         There are now  more  than  10  joint  ventures with  about  400
         workers involved, 100 of which IBMers.

         There is a  tendency  to  close  little  branch  offices : this
         creates several problems to the employees, but IBM is not
         at all worried about it.


         As inside of  IBM  Italy  the  trend  towards  a  more rigorous
         restriction of expenses goes on,  the  standards are decreasing
         in almost every department.
         The attention of the Company, and the distribution of the merit
         salary, is more  and more focused on managers  and  salesmen  :
         between the other workers the salary increases are less consis-
         ent, more delayed  and  concerning fewer employees than before.
         In this context IBM Italy unions  decided to present a platform
         of demands :  we  began discussing about it in  June  1988;  in
         January 1989 we  distributed  questionnaires,  which 33% of IBM
         workers answered.
         In March 1989, once defined the  platform  of demands, we asked
         the approval of  IBM  workers  with a referendum:  60%  of  the
         workers participated to the referendum, and 83% of them answer-
         ed positively and approved the platform.
         Such platform of  demands  was  presented to the Company on May
         the 3rd, 1989, and then we had other two meetings with IBM.

         The main demands are the following :

         1) SALARY : a) institution of  another  monthly  instalment  in
                        addition to the 13 already paid  by  the Company
                        (1 per month, 2 in December).
                        This corresponds  to  an  increase  of salary of
                     b) an increase of 415  US  $ per year of the annual
                        production bonus,  which  is the  same  for  all
                        workers. Now its value is 1035 US $ per year.

                     The mean value of whole salary increase is about 9%

         2) WORKING HOURS  :  a) the right for each individual worker to
                               take advantage  of 4 weeks a year with 36
                               working hours,  not  working   on  Friday
                            b) the possibility of being in part time for
                               a fixed  period  (e.g.  3  years) and the
                               right for all workers, independently from
                               their level,  to become part timers (with
                               a maximum of 5% of the entire population)
                            c) the possibility of temporary retirements,
                               for a  maximum  period of  3  years,  not

         3) TRANSFERS :  a)  introduction of an allowance of 14 US $ per
                           night in addition  to  the  refund of all ex-
                           penses, as an acknowledgement  of the uneasi-
                           ness of staying far from home
                        b) creation of a mixed committee IBM - Unions to
                           study and make proposals, within 3 months, on
                           subjects like  transfers  and  working hours,
                           with particular  attention to the problems of
                           Customer Engineer and Exempt employees

         4) EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES  :  creation  of a mixed committee IBM -
                                  Unions  to  develop  analyses and make
                                  proposals on Positive Actions

         5) INFORMATION : a) about significant changes  and  reorganiza-
                             tion before they take place
                          b) about education, with data referred to geo-
                             graphic and  professional areas, to plants,
                             to field and  to  headquarters, and articu-
                             lated per sex and age

         After the Paris meeting a period of struggles  will  begin, and
         we hope to sign an agreement before summer holidays.
         In the meantime  two  legal  actions  have  been started by the
         Unions in Rome against IBM, charging  the  Company  with  anti-
         union behaviour, and trying both to drive back the  assaults of
         IBM towards the  unionists  and  to  make public and officially
         known to all  IBM workers the  IBM  level,  career  and  salary
         As far as the health of the unions inside of IBM  Italy is con-
         cerned, the situation is not particularly brilliant.
         The union members  are about 1200 (9.6% of the workers) and the
         union executives not more than 65 .
         Though more and more IBMers trust  the  unionists  and  approve
         their strategy, decisions and behaviour, on the other hand they
         are not much  interested in active participation  and  involve-
         ment. It is  becoming more and more difficult to have new union
         executives and to be present in  locations (particularly in the
         branch offices) where we are missing.