CGIL, the bet on the confrontation (won) of Landini and Meloni

The Rimini congress strengthens two leaderships who have chosen to recognize and listen to each other

The host and the guest. It is an invitation, accepted, that makes the difference. From one side to the other. Maurizio Landini and Giorgia Meloni, the secretary of the main Italian trade union traditionally anchored to the left, the CGIL, and the prime minister of a right-wing government, bet on the comparison. Despite the risks and despite the doubts that have crossed the long eve. And they can both claim to have won the bet. Why the Rimini Congress he will be remembered above all for the public exchange, without discounts, staged in front of an audience that in the majority chose to listen, to legitimize the choice made, even in the distance of the positions that exists and remains.

Those of Landini and Meloni have been two brave choices.

The leader of the CGIL considered it a priority to restore centrality to the union scene, competing internally with a minority who chose his protest, the places left for stuffed animals to the tune of Bella Ciao. It wasn’t obvious that this was the case, dissent could be difficult to manage, a massive and sensational protest could have opened a rift that was difficult to heal. The words that Maurizio Landini used to break the tension after Meloni’s entry explain what was at stake. “We have all chosen together to have an open congress to talk to everyone because we have to deal with the country as it is, practicing the watchword of this congress: learning to listen even to those who have different ideas from ours because knowing how to listen is the condition of being able to ask for the right to be heard”. And they also explain what the result is. “I see Prime Minister Meloni’s choice of our proposal as a sign of respect and recognition, because we want to be protagonists”.

Giorgia Meloni accepted the invitation and chose to confront herself, ‘away from home’, with an audience that could have given her a bad welcome. “I don’t know what to expect but it seems right to be there”, she said as she arrived, “I’m satisfied, I’m never afraid to confront myself, I think it’s a right thing and it was right to be there”, she said at the end. In between, all the things the government has done and wants to do. Explain without backing down, without compromise, without courtesy concessions.

The CGIL likes few of these things, and there will be a battle over many, but both leaderships come out stronger from the Rimini Congress. That of Landini, who wants to put the CGIL and the union where it hasn’t been for some time, at the center of the scene. And that of Meloni, who claims his role, that of making choices and governing, recognizing value and dignity in comparison. (Of Fabio Insenga)