In a decree dated 28 March 2021, The Court of Milan recognised anti-union conduct under art. 28 of Italian Law no. 300/1970 at a company where a video message was circulated by its Chairman of the Board of Directors, which invited staff to join a trade union and enter into a collective industry agreement.
The fact – Appealing to the Court of Milan, acting as Employment Tribunal under art. 28, Law 300/1970, the trade unions Filcams CGIL, NIDIL CGIL, UILTEMP Lombardia and UILTUCS Lombardia wished to ascertain and confirm the anti-union nature of the conduct adopted by the defendant company. Last January, the Company’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, and a Chairman of a trade association, sent a video message to staff who were not employees. The video invited them to join a newly formed trade union association to sign the national agreement on 30 December 2020 with FISASCAT. In the face of the claim of anti-union conduct presented by the plaintiff trade unions, the respondent company raised several preliminary objections and requested the appeal be rejected on the merits.
The decision of the Court of Milan – As a preliminary consideration, the Company objected to the fact that the remedy (appeal under art. 28 of the Labour Code) the trade unions used was inapplicable, as it could only be used for dealings that fall within under an employment relationship.
The Court of Milan overturned a recent legal precedent on this point (Court of Florence, 9 February 2021), and affirmed that this could not be accepted for the reasons below.
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