Proposals by ANCI – OOSS
Roundtable of 19th March 2012
ANCI and the confederate Secretaries of CGIL, CISL and UIL, together with the general Secretaries of the national Federations of the Commerce sector, Filcams Cgil, Fisascat Cisl and Uiltucs Uil, having met the 19th of March 2012, have decided to develop a permanent discussion table on the topic of liberalisations of working hours and openings of stores, norm included in the “Salva Italia” act, on which it is necessary to reflect and evaluate also in regard to possible effects and implications.
The Commerce sector is always more seen as a service activity where competition is not between small stores, hence on selling modalities, but between commercial hubs, both inside the cities and between cities themselves.
The liberalisation of working hours and shop openings has been decided by the Government, based on the fact that it was an issue in terms of competition, and recalling the principles of free competition issued by European laws, and therefore intended to provide all Italian citizens and companies with a minimum and equal level of services.
“Total” liberalisation of working and opening hours is highlighting a series of problems, which don’t regard only some specific type of companies or workers, but affects inhabited centres of all demographic size.
Some critical element can be specifically identified:
1) State competence on determining the essential levels of performances does not exclude, and actually implies, the application of powers by the Municipality and the Mayor (determination and regulation of hours etc.), also as a form of expressing normative power in the organization and execution of communal functions.
2) The attribution of the responsibility of working and opening hours in regard to “protecting competition” is correct but not exhaustive. The issue of hours, in fact, is not limited to the relation between competing companies, or between companies and consumers, but instead implies other types of problems, such as life/work balance, urban security, public peace, problems inherent to the organization of urban functions (street cleaning, security, coordinating with hours of other services etc.)
To this regard it is also reminded that recalling the European norm on freedom of competition does not seem enough to motivate unequivocally the exclusive State competence on hours, since it should be balanced with the role of territorial governing bodies, the life of communities and social interests.
Even though these innovations are difficult and burdensome for everyone, even for the great distribution chains, it is objective that, in order to face such issues, big companies even if taking in account their rigidity, will have at their disposal greater financial means, a higher know how, and human resources to face these transformations in the medium-long term, if compared to small and very small enterprises. This would somewhat be contrary to the Small Business Act, that instead determines that norms should in some way not be “neutral”, but favour small and medium companies. Within this framework, for big, medium and small companies alike, the effects on male and female workers will be extremely relevant, due to a different work organization that will be adopted to face this new phase. These are effects that will have an impact on the material conditions and on the possibility to maintain a correct balance between private and working life.
To this end, the parts agree on the necessity to:
- Activate the permanent dialogue table between Municipalities and sector union organizations in Anci;
- Solicit, with the involvement of the territorial representatives of the organizations, the creation of local negotiation table with the objective of acquiring information on the critical aspects that emerge from the implementation of the norm, in particular on the social effects, with the aim of promoting awareness raising initiatives for employers associations.