“Representation of companies, let’s start from here” – time.news

by time news

Since the 1990s, the model of society based on the representation of intermediate bodies has entered a crisis. Thirty years have been played in defense for parties, trade unions and business associations. Francesco Giacomin, from Treviso, 69 years old, knows this phase well. He lived it from within and at the forefront of the world of representation under attack. In his book The return of the representation of intermediate bodies, a story yet to be told (publishers, € 14.90), a preface by Dario Di Vico and an afterword by Paolo Feltrin, Giacomin recounts this phase. In some passages the difficulties and frustrations of the recent past. But also the possibilities for a redemption in the near future.

Giacomin began his career in Confartigianato in 1976 in Treviso, where provincial director, to then assume the role of regional secretary and, in 1994, national secretary of the confederation. Since 2002 he has taken a step to the side to face new managerial experiences between utilities and banks. In 2011 he returned to the Veneto system of Confartigianato. Since last September, general secretary of Confartigianato Vicenza. The reconstruction of the past is interesting from the essay, but even more is the Time.news of the present and the vision of the future. Covid has provided the representation with an opportunity and a risk. The risk of losing members: companies in difficulty cut to begin with on membership fees. The opportunity linked to the return to the core business of associations with the response to the immediate needs of the representatives, in this case of companies.

When it comes to making emergency decisions, then, representation is invaluable. Wednesday 4 March 2020, eighteen years after my last entry with the role of general secretary of Confartigianato, I found myself in the Green room of Palazzo Chigi. I accompanied the President of Confprofessioni by the Prime Minister with the main organizations representing employers. If it were not for the growing concern due to the worsening of the spread of Coronavirus and the consequent climate of tension that hovered, my presence could even take on the characteristics of a return to the family, for the place, the methods and also for the direct knowledge of the protagonists called up, writes Giacomin. In fact, in March a year ago, the social partners struck a blow with the signing of the protocol on safety in the workplace. It was not taken for granted. But the same organizations can also play an important role in post-pandemic reconstruction. A first signal comes from the signing of the pact for the revitalization of public employment between the confederal unions and the Draghi government. Another immediate challenge will be the management of vaccines in the company.

But, paraphrasing the title of Giacomin’s essay, will the next few years be those of the return of intermediate bodies and in particular of a strengthening of the role of business associations? The author tries to indicate some path for the prophecy to be fulfilled. The first: To really implement, overcoming the inconclusiveness of many rhetorical and circumstantial evocations and a progressive renunciation of fatigue, the result of the Small business act. We need proposals that combine the principles of the Small business act with the need to compete in the markets for capacity and production quality, freeing creativity and entrepreneurial vitality, adds Giacomin, admitting that in terms of credit and finance, changes in associations are slow.

A more difficult obstacle to overcome on the road to relaunching representation remains however internal to organizations, as the author himself somehow acknowledges. Just think of the failed attempt by Rete Imprese Italia to bring together the forces of the associations of craft and trade enterprises on the defense of common requests. The associative ruling class has often shown that it is not up to the challenges, also undergoing the blackmail of the defense of local or categorical power structures in noble associations, admits Giacomin. Without addressing this problem, starting a new phase will be complicated.

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