Italy has been the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of deaths from the virus surpassing China. The impact of the virus has been most severe in the north, where the country’s vital industries are concentrated.
Trade unions have been fully involved in responding to the crisis. According to BWI’s Italian affiliate, CISL, as of 19 March, 33,190 people have tested positive for COVID, of which 4,440 have recovered, while 3,405 have died.
The group said that Lombardy, Piedimont, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche and Bergamo were the hardest hit by the pandemic.
Although the “lock-down” in the country is scheduled to end on 25 March, CISL believed that it will most likely be extended indefinitely due to the severity of the situation. Schools will also remain closed.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson said, “we have all been inspired by the solidarity of the Italian people and their capacity to deal with this crisis effectively and efficiently rather than being distracted by fear and panic. In these difficult times, because they are so difficult, social dialogue plays a vital role in carrying action forward to unify and mobilise workers and employers.”