Bertone: "Yes to the minimum wage, it represents an extra protection"

Bertone: "Yes to the minimum wage, it represents an extra protection"

ROME – “Minimum wage at 9 euros? It's too low for me." This isn't a joke. Albert Bertone, founder, president and managing director of Acqua Sant'Anna, a year ago, between high bills and inflation, had given an extra month's salary to the 200 employees of the company that bottles the water above Vinadio, in the Cuneo Alps. In the industrial world they see the minimum wage as a non-issue that does not affect entrepreneurs.

Over 100,000 workers below the minimum wage in Tuscany

Blue George

Bertone, do you agree with the introduction of the minimum wage in Italy?
“For me it is right that it be introduced and that there can be. It would represent additional protection for those who carry out certain types of work, not in the industrial sector or large companies, but in other sectors, such as services, especially personal services, catering or commerce. In addition to the minimum wage, however, controls should be strengthened to avoid exploitation".
What do you mean?
“That setting a minimum hourly wage is not enough if there is no verification that the rules are respected. They must increase controls on undeclared work. Not even the gray one can be accepted: contracts applied badly or without respecting timetables. In 2023 workers, workers in construction, catering, agriculture or any other illegal sector cannot be admitted".
Missing work today?
“For me there is no shortage of work, both in the medium-high range, where a certain type of training is required, and in the medium-low range. There is demand, but there are no people available to fill the seats. There are no forklift operators or drivers, even in catering there is a lot of demand, as well as in construction and agriculture. Covid has turned everything upside down a bit, however, it has led people to want to change, looking for new outlets. It is not said then that these outlets will be found. In the meantime, the cost of living has risen and wage levels have remained those of 2019. For this reason, I think that setting a minimum wage today could also represent a lifesaver for a significant portion of families”.
Will you again guarantee an extra month's salary to your employees to mitigate the effects of inflation?
“We decided to do something different, spending the same money we committed last year. We do three different things. The first. We guarantee psychological support to employees, after Covid, families have had serious problems. The second. Also due to Covid, many people have gotten into debt, between loans and salary assignments. With the help of a financial advisor, people will be able to analyze their situation and understand how to better manage their home budget. The third. We also offer a nutritionist to teach you how to eat well, thus improving general well-being”.

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