The 800 internalized
In recent months, as we at Sole24Ore told us, Fedex has launched an insourcing plan (internalization, ed), of 800 parcel sorting service employees in national hubs and stations in Padua, Ancona, Bari, Bologna, Fiano Romano, Florence, Naples Teverola. «These are direct hires, made by the pool of our suppliers who have already involved 150 employees in Padua, who entered service from May 1st, 150 in Bologna from June 1st and from July 1st another 120 between Florence and Ancona. In October we will proceed to Fiano Romano, Naples and Bari. The path will continue according to plan », explains Stefania Pezzetti, president of the board of directors of Fedex in Italy. It is a strategic choice «at a time when the market requires a stable and reliable service and competition for customers is more intense than ever», continues Pezzetti. Precisely for this reason, to achieve greater network reliability and seamless service performance, Fedex is implementing a proprietary and controlled handling operating model in hubs and stations. And in 2022 a new logistics hub will open in Novara to support the development of e-commerce. “Our experience has shown that fostering a sense of belonging and ensuring direct dialogue with team members who work in our facilities – throughout the organization – is essential to create the clarity, involvement and commitment needed to achieve our strategic objectives – observes Pezzetti -. Over the last 5 years, we have successfully introduced a similar direct management model in other offices, in order to guarantee continuity, operational efficiency and the improvement of service performance ». «The overcoming of contracts and the subcontracting chain is the first bulwark for the fight against illegality and improper forms of use of spurious cooperatives in the sector – observes the general secretary of Filt Cigl, Stefano Malorgio -. And it was with Fedex that the confederal union reached an agreement that internalizes all contract workers. We are therefore faced with one of the largest regularization transactions in the sector in Italy which envisages 800 internalisations ».
The decision to close Piacenza
In recent months, however, the company has decided to leave the Piacenza site which is permanently closed and in the process of being dismantled. A traumatic reorganization operation breaks into the framework of internalization. «The multinational – says Malorgio – has unilaterally chosen to leave the Piacenza site and the supplier it had here. There are now about 280 workers working for the supplier who must have an employment and guarantee answer for the future. Nobody can be left behind. ‘ From an employment point of view, the choice did not have direct repercussions on the company, but on the supplier, Alba (Lintel group) which “made itself available to open a table with the social partners, in which we gave our support” , says Pezzetti. The affair involved about 280 people and in the two open negotiation tables, one with the confederal and the other with the self-employed, Si Cobas and Usb, the employer side offered a package with a voluntary departure incentive and a path of outplacement, which would then be followed by Naspi. However, the negotiation has not yet had a positive solution. Malorgio says that the road “must be that of relocation, including internally, of workers. Around Piacenza there are the most important logistic centers of northern Italy, from Lodi, to Pavia, to Peschiera Borromeo. It is in the direction of relocation that we must look ”. A direction that the self-employed who are asking for the reopening of the Piacenza hub are not looking. A choice on which, however, the company will not step back. «The Piacenza site has been closed because it is not functional to our network – explains Pezzetti -. We have chosen to process the activities in other sites, as part of a redesign of the national network in order to guarantee the sustainability of our business in Italy, especially at a time when the market requires a stable and reliable service and competition for customers is more intense than ever ».
The strategy of tension
After the closure of Piacenza, however, the continuous blocks and stakes began in Peschiera Borromeo and beyond. Thus “the supplier we rely on in case of need has temporarily opened a site on the outskirts of Lodi, in Tavazzano”, where yesterday there was a garrison and a procession of the Si Cobas. On the clashes in Tavazzano, where there were several injured, Pezzetti does not make any comments but limits himself to saying that «Fedex condemns any form of violence. The fact remains that just as there is the right to demonstrate, there is the right to work. Those who are on the sites should be guaranteed to be able to work freely and safely ». Malorgio, underlines that “the fact that this has happened is covering one of the most important actions in the sector and that is the internalization of 800 workers. Fedex’s decision to close Piacenza, however, is contested and we ask for reasons on the relocation, also internally, of workers ».
Against the background of the Piacenza affair, however, another question also stands out, namely the different vision of the union of confederal and autonomous ones. And the lack of recognition of the self-employed trade union at the negotiating tables, like that of the logistics contract, which is experienced as a limitation of trade union activity. «Fedex however – underlines Pezzetti – does not dictate the rules of belonging to workers. The contract we apply, however, is the national collective agreement for logistics which has certain signatories ».
Numbers in hand, Malorgio acknowledges that there are sites where the Cobas are in the majority, such as Piacenza, but «the confederal union represents over 80% of the logistic members overall and there is a law on representation. If anything, a logistics and e-commerce plan is needed in which the State exercises the functions of planning and defining the minimum conditions for those who work in those sites, starting with compliance with contracts and recognition of the union. Well the proposal of the Minister of Labor Andrea Orlando of a specific table, with which the long absence of politics is recovered from a strategic sector which is noticeable only in dramatic moments, but which represents 9% of GDP ».
Aboutabikh Mahmoud leaves us because he has a meeting on new initiatives after the Biandrate incident. After having kindly explained the claims of the SiCobas, he leaves us with a certainty: “We don’t stop here.”