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Lettera del Coordinatore Nazionale dei Lettori SNUR CGIL al Commissario Europeo Flynn

As you know, over a year ago, in a letter dated 19 December 1997 (Prot. n. p608) , the General Secretary of my trade union, M. Giovanni Garofalo, a senior professor of labour law at the University of Bari, wrote the European Commission to denounce the Italian government's response to the Commission's "Motivated Opinion" of 16.5.97

31/01/1999
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Lettera del Coordinatore Nazionale dei Lettori SNUR CGIL al Commissario Europeo Flynn (31/1/99)

To Commissioner Padraig Flynn
Member of the European Commission DGV
Rue de la Loi, 200
B-1049 BRUSSELS
BELGIUM

Dear Commissioner Flynn,

As National Co-ordinator of the University Foreign Language Lecturers ("Lettori") of the Italian National University and Research Union SNUR-CGIL, I am writing you, with the request to make this letter's contents available to the other members of the European Commission, to express this trade union's profound objection to the inaccuracies, mistruths and blatant falsehoods presented in the 10 December 1998 letter (Prot. n. 4283) from Cabinet Secretary Francesca Zannotti of the Italian Ministry for Universities and Research to the Italian Diplomatic Representatives at the European Union in Brussels.

As you know, over a year ago, in a letter dated 19 December 1997 (Prot. n. p608) , the General Secretary of my trade union, M. Giovanni Garofalo, a senior professor of labour law at the University of Bari, wrote the European Commission to denounce the Italian government's response to the Commission's "Motivated Opinion" of 16.5.97. After illustrating the Italian government's continued failure to respect European and Italian norms with regard to regular employment contracts and professional status for the "lettori" employed in the Italian university system, Prof. Garofalo concluded his letter by affirming that our trade union was of the opinion that -- due to the lack of respect for the rights of these workers and of Italian and European legislation in this regard -- the European Commission must continue with its legal procedure against Italy for violation of article 169 of the Treaty of Europe.

The continuing discrimination against "lettori" in every Italian university and the total lack of progress in reaching any kind of resolution to the question obliges me to inform you that our union is still of this opinion today. Our trade union, the SNUR-CGIL, the union representing both the greatest number of "lettori" (ca. 650) and of university personnel in general, as well as an affiliate of the union confederation representing the greatest number of workers in the country, must therefore ask you to inform the other members of the European Commission that the Italian government continues to discriminate against foreign language lecturers in the Italian universities by denying them regular contracts and recognition of their acquired rights and professional status as teaching staff.

Particularly reprehensible are the bullying tactics being currently employed by the administrations in such major universities as Naples Orientale and "Federico II," Salerno, Messina and Catania. But even in a university such as my own, the University of Florence, over one-third of the "lettori" over the past several years have been and are currently employed with illegal short-term contracts, in clear violation of both European and Italian legislation. The National Secretariat of the SNUR-CGIL is currently compiling a dossier with regards to the chronic and on-going discrimination against "lettori" in all of the Italian universities and it will be sent to the members of the Commission as soon as possible.

We therefore wish to solicit swift and comprehensive action by both the European Commission and the Court of Justice with regard to the question of foreign language instructors discriminated against in the Italian university system. The SNUR-CGIL union remains available to you and the other members of the Commission for any further information or questions which you might have.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. John W. Gilbert
National Co-ordinator
University Foreign Language Lecturers
National University and Research Union
SNUR-CGIL