Médiation et conflits du travail ?

Mediation and labour disputes. A love that can hardly blossom.


There are two types of labour conflicts (to be very synthetic).

a-  Individual or collective conflicts that can lead to a legal dispute;

b - Those that instead are only of a negotiating nature between the parties and which may or may not lead to an agreement.


a-            In the first case, even before a judicial proceeding is established, it is almost natural that (in a more or less lively way) there is a dialogue or a negotiating approach between the parties.

But in any case, the first phase of any proceeding before the ordinary judge in matters of labour law, has a mandatory phase which is the "compulsory attempt of conciliation".

The compulsory attempt of conciliation is certainly not a mediation and is not made by a professional mediator, because it is the judge who carries out this function, before entering into the heart of the trial.

However, both the deflationary effect of judgments and the objective of pacifying the spirits are achieved, and this instrument is, as a consequence, widely practiced in almost all Italian Legal Forum.


b-           With reference to the second type, when a discussion is opened or a claim is filed at company, territorial or at national level, the issue is managed by the parties who frequently have "negotiators" at their side who combine technical skills (lawyers and labour lawyers), relational experiences (with the Trade Unions at different levels) and sector skills (Officials of employers Organizations).

The aim is to reach an agreement, but it is not excluded that the parties will not be able to sign any union agreement.

In this situation, when conflict becomes very strong (strikes, occupations, etc.), all the Public Institutions operate, with the aim to welcome the so-called "bargaining tables" to favor the beginning of cooling procedures.

These Institutions obviously also work as mediators, albeit in a way that is certainly different from the one contemplated by our legislation.



Mario Fusani

Attorney-at-law admitted to the Rome (Bar Italy), specialized in employment law and with a wide experience in negotiations with Trade Unions



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