mercoledì 3 settembre 2008

When a fixed term job is a sickness 1

We have been discussing for a long in Italy about the problem of fixed term jobs. This a so complex issue which can be hardly explained to foreign observers because in Italy this kind of jobs detains specific features completely different from any other similar figure abroad. However the grotesque condition of fixed term workers clearly exemplify how the things work in Italy. These jobs should have been synonym of “flexibility” (as in the rest of the world) in order to provide high profile and skilled workers the opportunity to easily change job and obtain higher wages. Yet Italy is the kingdom of bribes, corruption and “blessed references” and thus also flexibility (as in the case of many public goods such as public health, education, environment, university, etc.) is conceded as a privilege. Fixed term jobs are not an opportunity in Italy: they are a nightmare. These workers have to work like 10 workers, they cannot decline the task they have to do even if not corresponding to their job levels, they cannot speak, they cannot criticize, they cannot complaint simply because they are under blackmail. The older this worker (over 35), the more he can be blackmailed because if he loose his job he hardly will find another one. In other countries flexibility really exists because the rule “hire and fire” effectively works while in Italy only “fire” exists. This worker is the weakest component of the labor force: he is vulnerable against his boss, the person who have referred him, the politicians who have helped him, other permanent workers. The saddest side of the issue is the war against other fixed term colleagues: everyone tries to defend his own position according to the role “mors tua vita mea” (your death, my life). This is the B series fixed term worker’s life because there is also a premiere league in this kind o f jobs: usually sons of important persons waiting only for a permanent position who are employed exploiting simpler procedures. The B temporary worker makes low profile tasks while the First Class one obtains star contracts. In the same way many “friends” become premiere temporary workers employed as consultants as well as many retired top managers continuing to do their jobs and doubling their incomes. Our public administration is very frequently affected by this sickness. The B series temporary worker (usually women and young people) is a real social problem in Italy because they show a precarious existence: he/she cannot sleep, he/she cannot live, he/she cannot have a family. Italian society is based on generations of depressed and weak people also according to a political point of view because these individuals easily can be entrapped in the networks of vote-catchers and in the circular “do ut des” (I’ll give you if you will give me) mechanisms: these individuals cannot freely live and cannot freely express their opinions. The only solution I can imagine for this problem is escaping Italy because this sickness seems to be incurable as well as many other social diseases Italian society is presently suffering. The origin of these conditions is however the same. A perverse relation between society and politics.

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