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From Comitato Aziendale Europeo e Relazioni Internazionali; Politica aziendale e risultati economici; Documents in English

6th IWIS Conference Sindelfingen
November 1992

         6th IWIS Conference               Sindelfingen, November 1992

                              Country Presentation



         In 1992 the  Italian  Government has been formed by Christian
         Democrats, Socialists and Liberal party.
         The Prime Minister is the Socialist Giuliano Amato.
         This Government was formed after  the crisis that occurred to
         a same coalition of political parties with the  leadership of
         the Christian Democrat Giulio Andreotti.
         In July 1992  the  Italian  Unions  (CGIL-CISL-UIL) signed an
         agreement with the Government and with the Employers Associa-
         tions: as a consequence of this  agreement the Public Pension
         and the Public Health Systems have worsened for  all workers,
         and the automatic  increase  of  salaries  connected with the
         increase of the  cost  of living  was  definitely  abandoned.
         Bargaining at company level was blocked until  January  1994.
         Many workers and Work Councils declare themselves in disagree
         ment with the  Unions  because,  in  the  end, the purchasing
         power of wages and salaries will significantly decrease.
         In September 1992 the Italian  Lira  was  depreciated against
         the other currencies of about 12-15%.
         In October 1992  the  Government introduced further  restric-
         tions and changes, not discussed during the July negotiations
         worsening once more   the   living   conditions  of  workers.
         Amato's Government is quite oriented,  like the previous one,
         to transform the public companies into private ones.

         In 1991 the members of the Unions were 10,538,317 :
         5,221,791 (49.55%) in CGIL
         3,657,116 (34.70%) in CISL
         1,659,410 (15.75%) in UIL

         In July 1992 the unemployed people ( 2.7 million,  58% women)
         represented 11.1% of  the  working  population  (24.3 million
         people, 35% women) and they were  and still are concentrated,
         for the most part, in Southern Italy.  A significant  part of
         the unemployment (over  50%)  is  represented by young people
         looking for their first work activity.
         The working population represents  42.5% of the total popula-
         tion (over 57 million inhabitants).
         The inflation rate is 5.1% in October 1992.

         2) IBM IN ITALY IN 1991

         Here following the results achieve by IBM SEMEA in 1991;

         REVENUE total               6875   million US $
                 from Italy          3529        "
                 from export         2789        "
                 from international   557        "
         PROFIT                       208        "
         INVESTMENTS                  474        "

         The mean inflation rate in Italy in 1991 was 6.5%
         At the end  of  1991, 14082 people were working in IBM Italy,
         of which about 3000 in the production  plants  (in Vimercate,
         near Milan, and in Santa Palomba, near Rome).
         There were about 600 employees working in the  Network System
         Laboratory in Rome.
         The Scientific Centre  of  Pisa  has  been closed, after a 25
         years of activity,  with  a  great  negative  impact  on  the
         University and Academic environment, being Pisa  one  of  the
         prominent Italian Universities.
         Several peripheral locations  have  been  closed,  and others
         will be closed next year, and  the  workers  concentrated  in
         bigger locations 50  to  100 kilometres far away,  and  as  a
         consequence many workers resigned.
         Individual (not official)  plans  to  leave  the Company were
         formulated, offering 24 month  salary  as  a  mean  amount of

         During 1991 720   people  resigned,  and  212   people   were
         employed.  The women  represented 23% of the workers.  At the
         end of August 1992, 383 people  were working with a part time
         contract and the most part of them are women (291).

         As far as  personnel  expenses  were concerned,IBM  in  Italy
         spent the following sums during 1991 :

         Wages and salaries          1245       million US $
         Integrative Pension Plan      11            "
         Accident Insurance Plan        5            "
         Medical Insurance Plan         7            "


         As inside of  IBM  Italy  the  trend  towards a more rigorous
         restriction of expenses goes on, the standards are decreasing
         in every department.
         The Company focus its attention  to  restrict  and  sometimes
         block merit salary,increasing only high professional  workers
         wages, and to decrease employment.
         IBM Corporation defines   the  global  target  in  employment
         decrease (40,000 in 1992) and,  in  Italy,  as  in  all other
         countries, a partial target is assigned (750  in  1992):  all
         kinds of pressures  are  used  on  workers and on managers to
         persuade them to leave IBM (bonuses  from 18 up to 24 monthly
         wage are always offered).
         Another way to decrease employment is to "spin  off"  activi-
         ties : about  300  workers  from  Logistic  and  Distribution
         sectors of IBM SEMEA were conferred  to new enterprises owned
         the first one partially ( as a minority partner),  the second
         one totally by IBM SEMEA.
         As far as  spin  offs  are  concerned,  Unions  struggled  to
         realise employment guarantees for  the future: as you know we
         signed agreements with IBM in both occasions.

         As far as  the  health  of  the unions inside of IBM Italy is
         concerned, the situation is not particularly brilliant.
         The union members are about 1100  (8.9%  of  the workers) and
         the union executives not more than 60.
         Recently, because of  IBM  programs on employment  and  merit
         salary, workers are  more  sensitive about union activity and
         strategy and, particularly on the  occasion of the spin offs,
         we experienced the active participation of the  most  part of
         the workers participation:   during   the   strikes   in  the
         Distribution Centre in Basiano, up to 80% of the workers were
         picketing the location along with the Union Executives.
         It is nevertheless more and more  difficult to have new union
         executives and to  be  present  in  many branch  offices  and

         4) EMPLOYMENT

         In I.B.M. Italy  there  are about 13.500 workers that operate
         in many towns and countries; 3000 workers are concentrated in
         the plants of Vimercate (near Milan)  and Santa Palomba (near
         Rome),4000 in Milan and 2700 in Rome.
         The following table shows the evolution of IBM  population in
         Italy since 1979  and  the distribution between manufacturing
         and no-manufacturing workers.

         *  Year    *   Total    *  No        *  Manufact. * % Manuf *
         *          *   Workers  *  Manufact. *  Workers   * Workers *
         *          *            *  Workers   *            *  on Tot.*
         *   1979   *   11097    *   8043     *   3054     *  27.52  *
         *   1980   *   11722    *   8458     *   3264     *  27.84  *
         *   1981   *   12347    *   8966     *   3381     *  27.38  *
         *   1982   *   12645    *   9014     *   3631     *  28.71  *
         *   1983   *   12649    *   8948     *   3701     *  29.25  *
         *   1984   *   12690    *   9051     *   3639     *  28.67  *
         *   1985   *   13236    *   9532     *   3704     *  27.98  *
         *   1986   *   13488    *   9841     *   3647     *  27.03  *
         *   1987   *   13565    *   9957     *   3608     *  26.59  *
         *   1988   *   13809    *  10306     *   3503     *  25.36  *
         *   1989   *   14228    *  10860     *   3368     *  23.67 *
         *   1990   *   14802    *  11755     *   3047     *  20.58 *
         *   1991   *   14082    *  10933     *   3149     *  22.36 *

         From the table we can immediately perceive that manufacturing
         workers reached their maximum in  1983 (over 29%) and that in
         the following years the trend continues to be  negative for a
         long period, becoming once again positive in 1991.
         The trend of  total  employment in IBM Italy is negative like
         in other countries, and it is expected to continue this trend
         in 1992 and in 1993.

         IBM Italy workers,   being   metalmechanicals   workers,  are
         divided in 7 categories according  to  the  type  of activity
         they perform.
         Workers are divided in workmen and employees,  and at present
         IBM Italy situation in December 1991 was the following:

                    WORKMEN     EMPLOYEES    TOP MANAGERS
                     2.74%        82.28%         14.98%

         Another division is  between  exempt  and not exempt workers,
         whose percentages in December 1991 were the following :

                      NOT EXEMPT               EXEMPT
                        25.17%                 74.83%

         Women represent about 23% of total workers.
         There are also part time workers, that generally work 4 hours
         a day, five days a week.
         In the last months IBM is very  favourable to grant part time
         contracts (it was not so in the past) as they  see  part time
         contracts as a way to reduce employment.
         In August 1992  there  were  in IBM Italy 383 workers on part
         time contracts (3% of total workers),  women  being the great
         majority (76%):

           category         * WOMEN             *MEN        * TOTAL
               3       *         0      *         1         *    1
                       *                *                   *
               4       *         6      *         2         *    8
                       *                *                   *
               5       *       199      *        77         *  276
                       *                *                   *
               6       *        81      *         4         *   85
                       *                *                   *
               7       *         5      *         8         *   13
         TOTAL         *       291      *        92         *  383

         Most cases of  part time contracts come from full  time  ones
         (40 hours divided in five days per week).
         The exceptions are:
         - 20 hours a week part-time divided in 3 days (Thursday, Fri-
           day and  Saturday);  in this case we have new hired people,
           Customer Engineers involved in installations;
         - 30 hours a week part time divided in 5 days

         In addition IBM in Italy use temporary contracts formally de-
         voted to professional education training for a maximum period
         of 2 years.  This  labour  condition  is  a consequence of an
         agreement between the National  Union  and National Employers
         Associations which provide that, two years passed,  Employers
         may confirm or  not this temporary contracts; these contracts
         have many fiscal facility from Government.

         There are also seasonal contracts  lasting  3  or  6 months :
         they are present particularly in plants.

         Wages in IBM are composed by two parts:
         - salary  determined  by  agreement  between Metalmechanicals
           Unions and National Employers Associations and also between
           IBM Union and IBM Italy;
         - merit salary completely controlled by IBM.
         Merit salary accounts, in the average,for 30% of total wages.
         About merit salary let us say that the trend is quite negati-
         ve; IBM in  Italy continue to reduce salary budget and so the
         time between merit salary increases  is  going  to become the
         largest as possible.
         IBM in Italy,  as already stated, the "must" is:  reduce  the
         expenses and cut  the  costs.   The  Company achieves this by
         reducing wages budgets, employees  number, locations, cafete-
         ra budgets.
         Quality of life in IBM is rapidly decreasing.
         A particular attention is devoted to low performers,  who are
         maintained under a  continuous pressure, in order to convince
         them to leave the company.

         As stated by a new law, called  "Parity  Law",  IBM must give
         detailed information to  the Unions about women  presence  in
         the company for  each  location,  both  from quantitative and
         qualitative point of views.


         Metalmechanicals National Contract  determines working condi-
         Working hours are 40 divided in 5 days per week  (8 hours per
         day) for all  workers except part-time workers (20 hours) and
         top management.

         Working hour reduction was achieved  by  National  Contracts,
         and the reduction of 64 hours per year (80 hours  from  1994)
         are used in IBM basically as 8 supplementary holidays.

         Overtime work is allowed but cannot exceed 150 hours per year
         and it is  not  allowed on Sunday with some exceptions stated
         by law (like in case of public  services)  or  by  IBM  Union
         agreements (like in the case of Customer Engineers).
         IBM Union must be informed in advance of overtime necessities
         and afterwards with detailed reports.

         We really control overtime only in the not exempt area, becau
         se they must  register  on  a  card initial and final working
         hours; consequently IBM in Italy  gives consolidated informa-
         tion about overtime hours just for not exempt workers and de-
         clares formally not to ask overtime to exempt workers, though
         the real situation is wildly different.


               OVERTIME UP TO 8   HOURS IN A WEEK    *    45%  *
               OVERTIME FROM  9th HOUR  IN A WEEK    *    35%  *

         As far as  shift is concerned, working hours  are  37.5  and,
         following an agreement  between  IBM  Union  and  IBM  Italy,
         percentage increase is 12% for  day  shift  work  and 35% for
         night shift work (for working hours after 7 p.m.).
         There are finally 3 important agreements about  night overti-
         me, Sunday overtime and Saturday overtime:

         1 - night overtime between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. with percentage
             salary increase  of  165% and the workers must have a not
             paid absence for as many as overtime hours;
         2 - Sunday work is allowed in  C.E.  area at this conditions:
             daily hours  ---------------->  65%  percentage  increase
             night hours  ---------------->  80%  percentage  increase
             planning activity ----------> 3 hours bonus
             not planning activity ------> 6 hours bonus;
             Sunday C.E. workers must have  paid  absence  for an half
             day if  working  hours  are up to 4, one day  if  working
             hours are up to 8 and so on;
         3 - Saturday  work  has  65%  salary increase and the workers
             must have a paid absence  for  half  of  the  hours  they
             worked; these hours of paid absence can be  gathered  and
             used all together in the next 3 months.

         In the following  table  the  evolution  of  overtime for not
         exempt in the  last years in Milano,  Segrate  e  Basiano  is
         shown :

         YEAR* TOT OVT.  *      NIGHT OVT           *   SUNDAY C.E.
             *           *  made   absence    diff. *    made  absence
         '80 * 103855.50 * 3367.05 2472.60 - 895.05 *
         '81 * 122231.25 * 3404.75 2549.33 - 855.42 *
         '82 * 118692.00 * 3381.21 2871.45 - 509.80 *
         '83 * 114815.50 * 4249.75 2818.83 -1430.92 *
         '84 * 112288.00 * 3369.25 2879.53 - 489.72 *
         '85 * 116872.00 * 2877.89 2271.89 - 606.00 *  404.75   424.00
         '86 * 113852.25 * 2271.79 2132.25 - 139.44 *  752.50   880.00
         '87 * 108104.10 * 2503.25 2104.88 - 398.37 * 1434.00  1740.00
         '88 *  96725.25 * 2330.50 2029.47 - 301.03 * 1178.00  1452.00
         '89 *  97752.50 * 2915.55 2449.34 - 466.21 * 1880.00  2068.00
         '90 *  98338.25 * 2878.75 2702.70 - 176.05 * 2219.00  2536.00
         '91 * 112615.06 * 2603.67 2315.12 - 288.55 * 1935.50  2240.00

         Thanks to the agreements effective working hours  in  IBM are
         near 40, but  this the true only for not exempt workers,which
         represent only 25% of the entire population.
         No formal control is made on exempt workers, and they are not
         paid in any way for their overtime work, which is not due.

         To conclude about working hours  subject  we  want  to  speak
         about agreements on  the  occasion  of collective  transfers.
         The most important  was in 1975 from Milan to Segrate (12 km.
         from each other): IBM Union stipulated an agreement with
         IBM Italy that provides a reduction  of  one hour and an half
         of working hours and a reduction of the lunch  interval  from
         60 to 45  minutes.  This agreement was extended also to Rome-
         EUR where working hours have a  weekly  reduction of one hour
         and 15 minutes  and,  later, to Basiano (25 km.  from  Milan)
         where the reduction is the same of Segrate.

         Health has always  been  a  very important subject for Unions
         and for IBM Union.
         During last years we paid much  attention  to the problems of
         workers that use Video Display Terminals.
         First there was a consultation of the workers on defining de-
         mands and this has been done by means of a questionnaire  and
         of meetings.
         After a phase of struggle we reached that, every two years,an
         ophthalmology and ophthalmologist equip is at worker disposal
         in IBM locations  for  visits;  when  the  diagnosis  is that
         special lenses are  necessary   for   using   Video   Display
         Terminal, IBM must refund all expenses for the new glasses.
         Talking about health,  we  would  also like to recall that an
         agreement between IBM  Union   and  the  Company  provided  a
         Medical Insurance Fund used to integrate Public Health System
         (to which IBM  must contribute) and that, on the  consequence
         of Italian laws,  employers must hire a certain percentage of
         handicapped people.

         6) LIBERTIES

         workers meetings           :10  hours  per year,paid,for each
                                     worker,during working  hours  and
                                     with no   limit  out  of  working
                                     in any case the employer must pro
                                     vide the room for meeting;
         Union bulletin boards      :at least one board for each loca-
         Union offices              :if  there  are more than 200 wor-
                                     kers in a location,  the employer
                                     must provide   an   office  fully
                                     equipped  for the Union activity;
                                     if the workers are  less than 200
                                     the room must be provided tempora
                                     rely by request;
         paid leaves                :for  Union  executives  1 day per
                                     month;  not paid leaves can reach
                                     8 days per year;
         check off                  :that is how all Union Members pay
                                     their contributions;
         transfer of Union  executives:it  cannot take  place  if  the
                                     Union does not agree.

         IBM Union rights:
         (in addition to National Union rights)
         Before 1969, the  Union  representatives  in the company were
         appointed by the three National  Unions  CGIL,  CISL and UIL.
         After 1969 in every location the "Consigli di Fabbrica" appe-
         ar and they are elected by all workers, member  of not of the
         Unions.  The biggest  Consigli  di Fabbrica are in Milan with
         60 branch executives, Vimercate  with  50,Rome with 30 and in
         Santa Palomba with 9; in the small locations there  may be at
         least 3 branch executives.
         The maximum numbers of hours of paid leave for branch executi
         ves in order to accomplish their mission is annually:

            10500   hours   for    Milan          (about 4000 workers)
             8500   hours   for    Vimercate      (  "   2900    "   )
             3500   hours   for    Rome           (  "   2700    "   )
             3000   hours   for    Santa Palomba  (  "    550    "   )
             6500   hours   for    other locations(  "   3000    "   )

         Every single branch  executive  cannot use more than 24 hours
         of paid leave per month, except in case of Union courses, se-
         minars, meetings, etc.
         There is also a National Committee  composed by members elec-
         ted by each "Consiglio di Fabbrica", in proportion to the num
         ber of workers they represent.
         Anytime IBM Italy wants to speak to or bargain  with  the Na-
         tional Committee and,  if  it  is available and advisable,all
         expenses to convoke the members in Milan (where meetings with
         IBM take place) are paid by the company.
         On April the 23rd 1991 an agreement  with IBM stated that the
         Company will pay all expenses about 6 members that participa-
         te at 4 meeting per year; these members can use  2  days  for
         each of these 4 meetings.

         The great part  of  this rights are provided by a very impor-
         tant law:"STATUTO DEI DIRITTI DEI LAVORATORI" (Workers Rights
         Also on the consequence of this  law any kind of investigati-
         ons, in the engagement phase too, on political,  religion and
         Trade Unions opinions of workers is prohibited; there is com-
         plete freedom to  express  one's  own opinions at work; it is
         prohibited to have a remote control  of  the workers activity
         (for example by installing cameras in the work  places  or by
         locating individual users   accessing   procedures  and  data
         bases); dismissals can take place  only for a correct reason.
         About transfers: agreement on June 1974 states  that  if  the
         worker agrees with  IBM  on  the  transfer, the transfer will
         take place, otherwise not.
         About badge areas: agreement of 1983 provides that the defini
         tion of these areas must be negotiated  with  IBM  Union  and
         that in these  areas  group badges (and not personal  badges)
         must be used.
         About data bases accesses: the agreement states that informa-
         tion about users  cannot  be accessed without approval by the
         IBM Unions for each single case.