Event details :
The ITI Makers – European Minimum Wage Chair is pleased to announce a conference to be held on 23 June 2023 at 2pm at the
CARDO (7 rue de l’Ecarlate 6700 Strasbourg)
We look forward to welcoming you to this presentation by Ms CARTA, a researcher in labour law at the University of Genoa (Italy).
THE “ITALIAN WAY” OF THE MINIMUM WAGE
There is no simple answer to the question of whether the Italian collective bargaining system complies with the European directive. Indeed, the answer to such a question depends largely on empirical elements, such as the presence of social partners and the “strength” of sectoral collective bargaining, as well as on the continuity of case law. It is in fact the combination of empirical and legal elements that guarantees the effectiveness of the constitutional norm recognising the right to an adequate wage. Italy is one of the few EU Member States not to have either a ‘general’ legislative framework to ensure the extension of collective agreements (at least in the private sector) or a statutory minimum wage. Yet for decades its industrial relations system has been regarded as sufficiently robust to guarantee high levels of collective bargaining coverage and adequate minimum wages. Although collective bargaining agreements are not generally applicable, the case law of the Corte di Cassazione (Supreme Court) has been instrumental in ensuring that, in order to comply with article 36 of the Constitution (which recognises the right to a fair wage), employers cannot pay their employees less than the minimum established by industry-level collective bargaining agreements. However, this system relies on the ‘quality’ of collective bargaining, which is currently under pressure. Trade unions and employers’ organisations are weaker and weaker than in the past, leading to an increase in “wage dumping” strategies and in the number of branch agreements. This directly calls into question the ability of the Italian system to achieve the objectives set by the new directive. This leads us to a necessarily open-ended final reflection, concerning in particular the possibility of modifying the legal framework to comply with the directive while respecting the limits imposed by the Italian constitution.
Cinzia CARTA is a researcher in labour law at the University of Genoa (Italy). Her research interests focus on collective labour law. She obtained her doctorate from the University of Bologna (Italy) with a thesis on “The decentralised contract in the French, German and Italian legal systems”. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bologna, as well as part of the Horizon2020 Working, Yet Poor – WorKYP project.