Uila wins against Esa of Agrigento: 70 workers to be compensated

The principle that one cannot remain precarious for life has been recognized by the Cassation with a judgment that accepted the appeal filed by Uila on behalf of about seventy workers in Agrigento of Esa, the Agricultural Development Agency. The decision of the Court of Appeal of Palermo, which had overturned the decision of the first instance taken by the Agrigento Court, has therefore been annulled. Now, the word goes back to the second-degree judges who will have to quantify the compensation: “About 25 thousand euros for each operator, including legal expenses,” says Mariangela Acquisto, lawyer and secretary of Uila in Agrigento.

The union representative, who acted in court with the “full and convinced support” of the general secretary of Uila Sicilia Nino Marino, speaks of a “historic result” emphasizing how “the Cassation has clearly indicated the limits beyond which fixed-term contracts are not allowed.” “These limits – she explains – have been widely exceeded in the case of the fixed-term operators of the Esa of Agrigento, employed for decades with seasonal work relationships.”

The controversy began in 2018 when Uila members turned to the judiciary because they wanted the illegitimacy of their condition as operators employed with a long series of fixed-term contracts, some dating back to 1985, at the Esa Agricultural Machination Center in Macchinazione Agricola to be recognized. For the Cassation, “the derogation from the prohibition of exceeding the maximum limit of 36 months for the duration of fixed-term contracts is applicable, even in the agricultural sector, only when these contracts concern seasonal activities as per the cited articles.” “It is not in itself classifiable as a seasonal agricultural activity – the judgment reads – one that does not depend on the ordinary temporal scanning of common tasks. In fact, within seasonal entrepreneurial activities, there are operational needs, albeit limited in size, that continue throughout the year, such as the custody, repair, and maintenance of plants and machinery and, in general, the preparation for the new full season, with the consequence that workers permanently assigned to such activities and beyond the times indicated in national legislation on fixed-term contracts must be employed indefinitely.” The Supreme Court has further clarified that “the services to be performed and their seasonal nature must be evident from the cause of the relevant contracts, and in case of disputes raised by the worker regarding the specific tasks performed and their seasonality, the judge is required to ascertain these circumstances while the burden of proving that the worker was exclusively assigned to such seasonal activities or to other activities strictly complementary or accessory lies with the employer.”

In the photo are the general secretaries of Uila Sicilia and Uila Trapani Nino Marino and Mariangela Acquisto.

«Precari a vita», la Uila vince in Cassazione contro l’Esa di Agrigento: 70 lavoratori saranno risarciti

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