A protocol to share which should then materialize (but the conditional is still necessary) in a decree law with strict rules. And possibly new resources for layoffs. This is the offer with which the Ministry of Labor will be presented today in the second round of talks with social agents on the consequences of the wave of heat. In reality, there is already a draft from which the comparison will be based, which addresses the various issues including the necessary adaptation of working hours. This is precisely one of the most delicate chapters. The protocol proposes a series of actions: among others, there is talk of postponing non-priority outdoor activities on the hottest days, of using the cooler hours of the day for those that require greater physical effort, of planning shifts that allow workers to rotate and not leave them alone in the most exposed situations. Breaks must be guaranteed, in shaded or air-conditioned places and in extreme cases the activity can be completely suspended.
Other compliances by employers are also mentioned, such as those related to hydration, with the availability of potable water and toilets and personal protective equipment, which must be provided when necessary (including possibly sunscreen if prescribed by a doctor). The risks associated with heat mainly affect workers over the age of 65 or with particular pathologies or pregnant women. So, these are the topics that the Ministry of Labor will discuss today. The Ministry of Health, the INPS and the Inail were also present together with the social agents. The text being worked on also contains references to layoffs and smart work, but rather generic and non-binding. In reality, the second is not a particularly relevant issue, given that it focuses on tasks that are particularly exposed to heat waves and by their nature cannot be exercised in the form of intelligent work. This is the case of agriculture (the classic example is the harvesting of tomatoes), of construction (with special reference to those who work on road pavements) but also of some tourist tasks. As for dismissals, there is currently the possibility to apply for “weather reasons” when the temperature exceeds 35 degrees.
The latest instructions from the INPS leave the door open to social buffers with lower values, for example in case of high humidity that can affect the “perceived temperature”. But the unions ask that a lower level be set (33 degrees according to the Uil). And they would like a specific Cig, which would not be limited to the weeks that are already usually available and which would also extend to all sectors: here, however, arises the need for economic coverage, which the executive is evaluating. In general, the confederations ask for legislative intervention, to ensure that the measures come into operation quickly, whenever the thermal emergency is more acute.
“There is an immediate emergency problem which for us means Cig and establishing a temperature ceiling beyond which it is not possible to work, then there could also be a more detailed comparison – said the number one of the CGIL Maurizio Landini – I hope it is not a simple reminder to see how to deal with the problem, we are already late, we need an intervention that makes everyone’s intervention immediately”. Even the general secretary of the Cisl Luigi Sbarra speaks of an “urgent and necessary agreement to be implemented in a decree following the security protocols activated during the Covid” asking for a Cigo even below 35 degrees and specific Dpi. And also for Uil, the comparison must be made with what happened at the time of the pandemic: “We signed the protocol for Covid and the next day it became Dpcm – remembers Pierpaolo Bombardieri – we did not understand if the minister had these intentions. For Bombardieri “the question is different: when you reach this temperature, who asks for layoffs? Who blocks the works? In the meantime, the workers are on the street or in the field, so it would be good to give a uniform address.”
Business associations will also be able to clarify their position. In recent days, Carlo Bonomi himself had expressed himself on behalf of Confindustria for an approach similar to that used for Covid. While other organizations fear a heavier burden on businesses.
Source : IL Messaggero