Confindustria under Montezemolo

in Italian Politics
Author: Giuseppe Berta
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The change in the presidency of Confindustria, which took place at the

end of April 2004, marked a break with the past in both the political

sphere and that of industrial relations in Italy. The new president was

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, managing director of Italian industry’s

world famous company, Ferrari, who took great care, from the very

outset of his candidature for the presidency, to emphasize just how

different he was from his predecessor, Antonio D’Amato. Indeed, by

proposing changes in the circumstances under which workers could

be dismissed, D’Amato had led Confindustria down the road of bitter

confrontation with the trade-union movement, as well as toward

collaboration, almost as a matter of principle, with the center-right

government. Paradoxically, the result had been to allow Sergio Cofferati,

the secretary general of the Confederazione Generale Italiana

del Lavoro (General Confederation of Italian Workers, CGIL), to gain

enormous popularity on the left—while Confindustria itself obtained

paltry and uncertain results from D’Amato’s neo-liberal policies.