Minimum wage, the EU green light does not oblige Italy to introduce it

However, it must be ensured that, in most cases, the salary levels are set by collective agreements. In our country this is the case, but over 4 million workers have very low wages: below 9 euros gross per hour

While the dear life continues to run, gnawing at the salaries, Europe is writing down a principle, that of the minimum wage. That is: by law, wages cannot fall below a certain level, in order to guarantee decent conditions for all workers. The Union, after months of debate, has thus given the green light to a directive which, however, does not establish what this minimum threshold should be and does not oblige individual states to introduce this ceiling.

Collective agreements to guarantee salaries

Of the twenty-seven EU countries, only six do not have this basic pay and among them is Italy (together with Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Austria and Cyprus). Our parts rely on the fact that the vast majority of workers are covered by collective agreements: companies and trade unions periodically agree on the levels of wages. Europe has also intervened on this aspect, establishing that bargaining must cover at least 80 per cent of the employed.

The EU asks for verifications: “pirate” agreements in the crosshairs

In our country we would be above but the European standards oblige us to verify. Agreements that have long since expired and especially those covered by so-called “pirate contracts”, that is signed by trade unions or business associations that do not represent the majority of those directly involved, could be targeted.

An army of workers at less than 9 euros gross per hour

But how many would benefit if we also introduced the minimum wage? Over four million workers, according to INPS, which made this calculation on the basis of € 9 gross per hour. It would include apprentices, waiters, domestic workers and many precarious young people. The audience, in any case, changes according to the salary in question and if, for example, thirteenth and liquidation are considered in the item “salary”.