Trieste - Fincantieri is “an essential element of manufacturing in our region,” and it should be “a shining example both in terms of legality and workplace safety.” That is what CGIL and FIOM are requesting on the issue of subcontracting at the Monfalcone shipyard. They cite a series of criticisms related to lower labour costs and to the exploitation and oppression of workers. “Not to mention under-the-table rentals, overtime hours that are regularly missing from payroll,” pointed out Thomas Casotto, the secretary of FIOM for the Province of Gorizia. “There are workers on the job site for 48 hours in a row and people who have paid to be hired.” And there is more, “young men from Bangladesh who are paid a global wage and fired if they join the CGIL.” Currently two companies have wound up under the microscope of the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Gorizia, ISO C and SCF (75 employees total) which were operating as insulation subcontractors.
The unions are complaining that the situation is serious: “These are workers who don’t have access to the canteens or the showers, who are paid €4.50 per hour, and blackmailed over residency permits,” Casotto pointed out, “Fincantieri is an important public company but we would like it to be a shining example not only because of the beautiful ships that it delivers every year, but also because of the quality of the work in the associated businesses and the legality of its entire labour force.” The number of workers employed by subcontractors at the Monfalcone plant varies between 3,500 at slack times and 5,000 at peak periods: “We have requested that entry stamps at the turnstiles be matched up with the payslips to verify how many hours a worker spends on the job site, that would be a first effective deterrent to prevent companies from taking advantage of the fact that their payroll envelopes system is not very transparent.” Fincantieri was held responsible for €450 million in 2013 because of lost subcontracts. The regional secretary of CGIL, Franco Belci, mentioned “the gap between Fincantieri’s highly specialized personnel and the problem of illegal workers that is infecting healthy companies.” The unions are requesting that Fincantieri itself launch “a very strict inspection of its subcontractors, and we asked the Commissioner of the Government to hold a regional round-table on the issue, and the president of the Region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Debora Serracchiani, to review current regulations on subcontracting and make them stricter.” This would regulate the sector by taking concerted action, bringing together the Region, the unions and the police “to prevent illegal labour from spreading throughout the region.”
“Fincantieri, which is effectively the ambassador of Italian engineering,” Belci said, “should take responsibility and ensure that in addition to the quality of their products, which is undoubtedly very high, that they also use high quality labour at the end of the supply chain, in other words, through their subcontractors. The company is not directly responsible,” the regional secretary concluded, “but they should work with us, with the Region and with the Commissioner of the Government to build a stricter system of inspections.”