Do young people no longer join trade unions? Landini: "Our problem, not theirs"
“Don't young people join the union? It's our problem, not theirs, they're just telling us that they need to be defended and represented» explains Maurizio Landini. The data speak for themselves: among the under 34s, almost 50% of those who are not union members are without a membership card because they do not know their activities. Confederations not received, in short. Another 18.8% believes the cost of enrollment is too high. Another fact to reflect on because put together these two responses to the maxi-survey, conducted by the Di Vittorio Foundation on a sample of 50,000 people, keep 7 out of 10 young people away from the confederations.
The data, presented on the final day of the CGIL congress, creates an interesting picture of the expectations of Italian workers, on their involvement in trade union activity, on the reasons why they joined a union but also on the reasons which hinder their membership. Let's start from here then.
Even if you go up in the age groups, the lack of knowledge of the union and the cost of membership cards are the two main factors that hold back enrolments. Looking at the totality of the sample, in fact, 10% explain that they do not join a trade union because they are afraid of the consequences that this could have on the job, 13.7% consider the trade union "useless", another 18.7 defines it as "too submissive", but then there is 4.6% who brand it as "too antagonistic" and another 23.6 who consider the cost of enrollment too high. Finally, almost a third of the replies, 29.4%, said they did not know the trade union (28.1% in the 35-49 age group, 21.6 in the 50-59 age group and 19.8% in the over 60s). "Data to reflect on if we want to open our union to young people and precarious workers" reports the president of Di Vittorio Fulvio Fammoni, according to whom the share of those who do not join the union because they fear consequences weighs even more than the judgment on the union and he tells the union that there is too much precariousness in our labor market”.
On the other hand, who signs up because they do it? First of all because the union has an important role in affirming rights and protections for all (42.3%) and in protecting the rights of the worker (38%). Then there is 11.4% who appreciate it because it provides useful services and another 8.3% because they have already been helped to solve problems.
Once this photograph has been taken, what are we asking of the trade unions? What should his priorities be? For 68% of those questioned, the increase in wages is the issue on which action should be taken with greater force in dialogue with the institutions. Followed by defense and increase in employment (44.7%) and fight against precariousness (42.7%). Then the development of public services, from transport to education to health, the fight against inequalities, support in the event of poverty/unemployment, economic development planning and finally the fight against relocation.
Among the actions that the union should strengthen, Di Vittorio's panel puts them in order: national bargaining (62%), company bargaining (supplementary/second level) with 46.5%, European and international bargaining (33.4 %). At the bottom are local social contracts (protocols of legality, social services, etc.) with 17.6% and site and supply chain contracts which serve to regulate relations with clients (8.3%).
In this logic, members and non-members, in terms of services, ask the union first of all to strengthen legal assistance and disputes (45.1%), assistance for reintegration into work (44.75), fiscal and accounting assistance (30%), for social services (30%) and assistance in obtaining unemployment benefits (23.85).
«This first analysis - explains Fammoni - highlights and confirms how some of the main themes at the center of the CGIL congress are also priorities in the response to the questionnaire starting from the question of wages and the need to combat unemployment and precariousness. Many other problems, needs and proposals of male and female workers, summarized in this first quantitative report, show the need to recompose the world of work and union action by focusing both on the fundamental role that is assigned to the issue of rights and on the many specificities that characterize the world of work.