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In a recent judgement, an Italian employment tribunal recognised the anti-union conduct of Wärtsilä Italia S.P.A, cancelling the dismissal procedure and ordering the company to pay damages of EUR 50,000 to each of the three appellant unions. 

On 14 July 2022 Wärtsilä initiated the procedure for collective dismissal of 451 workers and the closure of its site in Trieste through a unilateral communication to its employees. It justified this approach by stating presumed confidentiality obligations due to the risk of “market regulation abuses”. The tribunal did not accept this defence and considered the company’s  behaviour to be in violation of Article 28 of the Workers’ Statute (Statuto dei lavoratori) which prohibits behaviour that limits trade union rights and freedoms.

Wärtsilä has been sentenced to compensate the appellant trade unions and to start the dismissal procedures from scratch, properly involving the trade unions in the procedure. Thanks to a recent amendment to Law 234/2021 dealing with delocalisations, this procedure will last at least 180 days. 

Wärtsilä has decided not to appeal the Court’s decision and to proceed in a collaborative manner from now on.

Below you can find the full text of the judgement (in Italian).

For more information (in English) please refer to Industriall's press release here.