No referendum on Art. 18 - Constitutional Court

CGIL wanted vote to abolish Jobs Act changes to Workers Statute

(ANSA) - Rome, January 11 - The Constitutional Court on Wednesday ruled that a petition to hold a referendum to abolish changes to Article 18 of the Workers Statute in the recent Jobs Act labour reform was inadmissible. The CGIL trade union presented the petition in a bid to have the limits on dismissals without just cause reinstated. The court approved, however, referendum questions on worker vouchers and on contract responsibilities. The Jobs Act changed Article 18 to water down protection from unfair dismissal for newly hired workers in a bid to encourage firms to take on new staff and reduce high levels of unemployment, especially among young people.
    Unions say the change, which replaced court-ordered reinstatement with financial compensation, just worsened already high levels of job insecurity for many.
    Of the two referendums the court okayed, the most important regards controversial vouchers used to pay for occasional work.
    The scope of the vouchers was changed and broadened by the Jobs Act labour reform. The question calls for the abolition of these rules. The government has said it wants to intervene in this area and if it does so with a new law, the referendum will sink.
    Before that the Cassation Court must say whether the possible law change voids the referendum.
   Rightwing populist Northern league leader Matteo Salvini said a Wednesday ruling by the Constitutional Court that a referendum aimed at restoring Article 18 of the workers' statute on rehiring for unfair dismissal was "a political sentence, to the liking of the powers-that-be and the government," likening it to a No to a referendum on the unpopular 2011 Fornero pension law. He said that "fearing a similar decision in the January 24 ruling on the electoral law, we announce an all-out guard for the vote and democracy outside the Constitutional Court starting from Sunday January 22."
 

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