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Union chief demands govt withdraw labour decree

Camusso says measure will worsen job insecurity

14 March, 19:06
Union chief demands govt withdraw labour decree (ANSA) - Rome, March 14 - The leader of Italy's largest trade union on Friday called on Premier Matteo Renzi's government to withdraw a decree that is a central part of labour-market reforms to combat chronic unemployment.

The decree extending the limit for temporary contracts from one year to three is part of Renzi's so-called Jobs Act to simplify labour regulations and reduce the current plethora of different contracts and benefits available.

Susanna Camusso, the leader of the left-wing CGIL, said she wants to open talks with Renzi about the idea of introducing a single form of labour contract, but stressed that scrapping the decree was a precondition.

"We are willing to talk about a single contract, but first it's necessary to abolish the decree," Camusso said on Italian television.

"This measure introduces greater flexibility and job insecurity, as a person can be hired and fired for three years without any reason or cause. We are worried and we are against this". Camusso also complained that relations with Renzi, who has clashed several times with the unions since being sworn in as premier last month, were "inexistent".

However, earlier this week she did praise some of an array of measures Renzi presented to revive the economy, including 10 billion euros in tax cuts targetting low earners. Italy emerged from its longest postwar recession last year, but the recovery is weak and unemployment is at a record level of 12.9%, with over four in 10 under-25s out of work.

The union chief has also complained though, that the government should do more to help poor pensioners.