Workers in Italian opera have been striking for the past month, impacting performances across the country as they fight for fair wages, stable contracts and better treatment. The collective agreement covering these highly-skilled workers has not been renewed in 20 years, while purchasing power has dropped by 40 per cent.
Since UNI Global Union affiliates, SLC-CGIL and FISTEL-CISL (together with other unions representing workers in the sector), called for strike action on 17 October, workers at all 13 Italian opera-symphonic foundations have been boycotting the premiere of every opera as the new season begins.
Unions say the offer from the employer’s side is inadequate and unacceptable to the workforce, and negotiations are currently at a standstill. Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI Media, Entertainment, and Arts said:
“We unequivocally stand with our Italian colleagues, whose expertise is the backbone of the opera and symphony foundations. We urge employers to immediately return to the negotiation table and recognize these workers’ invaluable contribution to the performing arts through fair wages, secure contracts and better working conditions.”