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What is the cause of the recent revival in the Italian labor unions In the past five decades Italian labor unions have been like a Ping Pong ball bouncing from weak and divided to strong and united Membership has also been increasing and decreasing as the unity and strength have been fluctuating Over the past ten years Italian unions have experienced a remarkable resurgence After more than a decade of declining political power membership loss and significant inter- and intra-union conflicts Italys three major union confederations CGIL-CISL-UIL have reemerged as key actors in Italys political economy I am arguing that changes in Italys political environment specifically the demise of the old party system and various changes by the Italian unions themselves changes in the organizational structure brought about the reversal of fortune it promises to be much more stable than previous efforts at recasting Italian labor relations Before I start discussing what is the reason for the resurgence of the labor unions in Italy I want to discuss the efforts that have been made in the past Throughout the 1970s and 1980s many attempts aimed at remaking Italian labor relations in the image of other supposedly more Mature national systems were promoted In 1970 an attempt was made to reform Italian labor laws through the Statuto dei Diritti dei Lavoratori a comprehensive labor law modeled on the American Wagner Act In 1975 Confidustria Italys major business association and the three major labor confederations CGIL CISL UIL attempted to forge a Swedish-like basic agreement through wage indexation In the late 1970s and again in 1983-1984 experiments with neo-corporatist concertation were performed All of these were designed to recast Italian Industrial Relations in the image of other more mature national systems yet all of these initiatives failed Instead of promoting greater centralization standardization and tranquility these reform efforts unleashed a series of intra-organizational struggles that resulted in further decentralization and fragmentation of Italian labor unions The reason
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