With reference to the statements made today by the Right Honourable Silvio Berlusconi MP concerning the use by Telecom Italia of temporary suspension provisions for workers, the company should like to point out that as it did not take action on the basis of a corporate emergency, but rather invoked its right to apply the suspensions as part of a restructuring programme, its decision does not obligate it to demonstrate balance sheet losses. In compliance with the regulations regarding the use of temporary redundancies for the purposes of corporate restructuring, the Telecom Italia restructuring programme is accompanied by a coherent plan of investment.
In the past five years alone, the Telecom Italia group has made over L. 1000 billion in payments to the special fund for suspended workers (Cassa Integrazione) as well as to unemployment benefit and worker mobility schemes.
As regards the special fund for suspended workers, Telecom Italia makes an annual contribution of L. 111 billion. The cost to the National Exchequer arising from the suspension of the 2,200 workers (for a period of two years, as agreed with the labour unions) is L. 173 billion. In the same period Telecom Italia will pay L. 222 billion in contributions to the various suspension, mobility and redundancy funds of the state. Furthermore, the workers affected by the decision will benefit from one of the most advanced retraining programmes in Europe, in which Telecom Italia is investing more than L. 40 billion.
Telecom Italia also points out that the agreement dated 28 March contains no provisions to lay off workers, and those placed on temporary suspension are specifically excluded from the possibility of redundancy. The reorganisation of the company will lead to the hiring 6,200 qualified young people, 2000 of them from southern Italy.