At the European level, the establishment of a European Works Council (EWC) complies with regulations whose purpose is strengthening the worker's right to information and consultation in Community-scale undertakings.
Fiat Group’s EWC was established in 1997, as a result of the founding agreement signed in 1996, and subsequently revised and amended. Still today, Fiat S.p.A.'s European Works Council, as established by the renewal agreement signed on 28 June 2011 has not been set up, despite the fact that the deadline for announcing the appointment of its members was 31 October 2011. Not having representatives from four countries - out of the nine eligible - up until now has in fact stopped the company from initiating convocation of the EWC. Fiat informed the industriAll European Trade Union (the European federation of metalworking, chemical and textile industries) that it still intends to launch convocation as soon as the EWC is fully set up, as well as to work out together the most suitable solutions to overcome any obstacles to its proper establishment.
Over the year, however, the Group did not launch any initiatives with a significant impact on employment at a transnational level, and locally the company does business in compliance with the procedures and practice of employee information and consultation as laid down by the law.
In Italy, on the 8th of March, 2013, Fiat SpA and the trade unions FIM-CISL, UILM-UIL, FISMIC, UGL Metalmeccanici and Associazione Quadri and Capi Fiat reached an agreement on the renewal of the wage-related part of the first-level Collective Labor Agreement (Contratto Collettivo Specifico di Lavoro di primo livello - CCSL) for the year 2013.
In 2013, too, the Chief Executive Officer met with the Italian trade unions signatories to Fiat's Collective Labor Agreement to present the half-year economic results. On September 4th, a further meeting was held at which the company and trade unions both confirmed their commitment to protect and strengthen the contractual relationship, with full awareness of its vital importance to Fiat's continued commitment to its industrial presence in Italy. On the basis of this renewed mutual commitment, at the end of the meeting Sergio Marchionne announced that the Group would undertake the investment necessary to ensure future production and jobs at the Mirafiori plant in Turin. The meeting gave the opportunity for trade unions to urge FIOM-CGIL once again to follow the basic principles of industrial democracy by accepting an agreement that has been signed by the vast majority of trade unions represented within Fiat.
In 2013 FIOM-CGIL (trade union that chose not to sign the Fiat CCSL) continued to claim the right to appoint employee representatives within Fiat Group companies provided for and recognized by Art. 19 of the Workers' Statute (Law 300/70) solely for trade unions signatory to the collective labor agreement applied within a company.
This dispute is part of a larger scenario regarding trade union representation in Italy comprised of: the National Multi-Industry Agreement signed 31 May 2013 by Confindustria and CGIL, CISL and UIL (which does not apply in Fiat Group companies since the company is not a member of Confindustria); the parliamentary debate still underway on the countless bills concerning it; and a ruling by the Constitutional Court. In July, the Constitutional Court determined unconstitutional the section of Article 19 of the Workers' Statute which requires that a union be signatory to the collective labor agreement applied within a company as a prerequisite for representation, reversing the stance it had taken on numerous previous decisions on the topic.
The Court ruled that unions are entitled to representation when they have actively participated in negotiations for a collective labor agreement, even if they are not signatory to such agreement.
The interpretation Fiat has applied up to this point has been recognized not only as correct, but as the only interpretation possible, affirming that Article 19 does not allow for the application of criteria that would go beyond a literal interpretation.
Despite the fact that the general principle laid down by the Constitutional Court (actual participation in negotiations) appears questionable to the trade union FIOM specifically concerning Fiat, in September the company informed FIOM it would be allowed to appoint plant-level union representatives (RSA), according to law.Lastly, in November the company and FIOM settled all litigation regarding Article 19 of the Workers' Statute. In short, the settlement in court calls for the acknowledgment of FIOM plant-level union representatives in a number permitted by law and the legislative rights, rather than under labor contract, and FIOM's agreement not to pursue any other lawsuits in this area.