Italy: Wood and furniture workers on strike over CBA non-renewal

Around 200,000 workers from the wood and furniture sector aligned with Feneal Uil, Filca Cisl, Fillea Cgil have been protesting massively at the Salone del Mobile in Milan, Italy as a response to the industry’s failure to renew their collective agreement that expired last December. As Federlegno, the country’s federation of woodworking and furniture industries, refuses to reduce working hours and to confirm the contractual model signed several years ago, the workers have started mobilising in seven Italian cities: Treviso, La Spezia, Forlì, Pesaro, Matera, Cagliari and Milan.

For the unions, Federlegno’s attitude is unacceptable. It is important to emphasise that the sector has been enjoying significant growth since 2022 and exports are also on the rise. Federlegno is seeking to freeze the renewal of the national collective agreement for one year to avoid the wage adjustment mechanism linked to inflation, which means a monthly loss for workers of about EUR 130 per month.

Workers' demands include a fair wage to protect their purchasing power, a reduction in equal pay working hours (from 40 to 38 hours) and more training. Raising wages is key to countering the exodus of labour and making the sector attractive to new generations. 

The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) extends its solidarity to all the striking workers and wish for their victory.