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Industrial relations

In line with the Group Supplementary Collective Labour Agreement signed on 24 March 2010, in 2011 actions continued to implement the commitments assumed with that agreement.
Within the Technical Commission set forth in the Supplementary Collective Labour Agreement, systems to harmonise Group compensations and regulatory economic conditions were drawn up and discussed, with a particular focus on topics related to travel, canteen and geographic mobility compensations.
The Group Supplementary Collective Labour Agreement re-examines the common rules of trade relations and, in the new Industrial Relations Protocol, for the first time establishes a technical study for organisational and work quality innovation, which is not set forth in the labour agreement, called LaborHERA. This study includes experts appointed by the union and by the company who will be in charge of monitoring safety and training initiatives, also within tenders, and corporate social responsibility, monitoring development and investment programmes and preparing proposals to support the evolution of the labour organisation with a focus on experimentation and innovation. The objective was to identify different involvement programmes in addition to the regular labour agreement procedures. The activities for the year related to the Safety study (LaborHera) began in February 2011, in order to monitor initiatives on this topic; the laboratory met three times during the year.

Scientific study to assess "work-related stress" risks

As part of the A year for safety project, Hera completed a scientific study in partnership with the University of Bologna on work-related stress at the Ferrara TOS, which involves the diversified use of data types (objective/subjective) and reporting tools (information sheet, interview, questionnaire).
The assessment was broken down into three main areas:

  • surveillance events: absences due to illness, number of accidents; personnel transfers;
  • content factors: work hours, shifts and on-call; intellectual commitment;
  • context factors: career development, training, services and benefits.

Overall, within the Ferrara TOS, significant work-related stress indicators which would require recourse to corrective actions were not found. However, improvement measures are being analysed both as regards the data collection and analysis model and from the business process perspective.
The data collection and analysis model developed within this project can therefore be extended to other Hera Group territories/structures.

Group- and area-level negotiations with union representatives enabled us to reach an agreement in April on the regulation currently in force regarding tax benefits (de-taxation) in the Hera Group for the year 2011.
Regarding Group objectives after the canteen service was expanded in the Ferrara area, the ticket system was phased out, as also occurred in the Rimini and Sassuolo areas.
A specific agreement on geographic mobility was reached with the Bologna area trade unions, regarding the economic conditions which will be provided for transferred personnel following the transfer of some company structures today located in the municipality of Bologna to the Granarolo location. Since the new workplace is not far from the municipality of Bologna, the agreement involves economic conditions which are lower than those set forth in the Group agreement.
By agreement between the parties, in May the objectives of the 2010 Group performance bonus were subject to final reporting and the objectives for the 2011 Group performance bonus were identified. In the same month, meetings to present and explain social responsibility and the Sustainability report were held with Group trade unions.
Furthermore, when the Group stopped providing the public lighting service in the municipality of Bologna, an agreement was reached in June with the Bologna area trade unions on the mobility (Law no. 233/91) of Hera Luce employees, which ensured employment for all personnel affected.
Also during the first half of the year, informational meetings were held with the Group trade unions on the contracting of waste management services in the Romagna area and on probable tender scenarios that public services will have in those contexts.
During the second half, the planned monitoring of the Group's 2011 Performance Bonus objectives began as set forth in the Supplementary Collective Labour Agreement, through the LaborHera study group.
In relation to training, as set forth in the Supplementary Collective Labour Agreement, the Group training plan for 2011 was presented and an agreement was reached on financed training for Hera S.p.A., Herambiente, Hera Comm, Uniflotte and Famula on-line.
Hera also collaborated with employers' associations to renew the national collective labour agreements for the gas/water sector and for waste management services. For the latter, Hera's direct participation led to the insertion in the Federambiente Agreement of a specific safeguard clause for outsourcing in favour of social cooperatives. That clause sets forth that a portion of outsourcing, totalling 5% to 15% (Hera uses 15%) of the economic volume of sweeping, collections, waste transport, cleaning of septic tanks and cleaning of bins, is excluded from the application of the waste management services collective labour agreement through the definition of socially inclusive projects.
Furthermore, cooperation with employers' associations continues on the renewal of the electricity sector classification and seniority conditions system, on regulations for the entire sector regarding exercising the right to strike, and on drawing up the articles of association and the regulation for the medical assistance fund set forth in the Federambiente national collective labour agreement, along with participation in commissions to prepare the renewed waste management and gas/water sector agreements.
In October, the trade unions approved the "Positive return policies" project related to work-life balance, promoted by the Diversity Manager in order to apply for the loan pursuant to art. 9 of Law no. 53/2000, "Measures to achieve a work-life balance".
Furthermore, many meetings were held with the Group trade unions in order to share methods for identifying personnel dedicated to gas services, in view of tenders which will be called in that sector on the basis of criteria defined by the company.
The 2011-2015 Business Plan was described to the Confederali and Group trade unions.
Finally, in implementation of the provisions of the national agreement of 2 February 2009 regarding ongoing union leave for the gas/water sector, an agreement which governs that leave within the Hera Group for the gas/water and electricity sectors was reached with Group trade unions.
The results of the fourth internal climate survey and the Hera S.p.A. SA 8000 certification project were shared with Group trade unions at the beginning of 2012.

Open-ended contract workers that are members of unions (breakdown by trade union)
CISAL Federenergia342424
UGL and other61214
Percentage of workforce as at 31/1258.8%58.4%56.6%

The data refer to the following companies: Hera S.p.A., Marche Multiservizi, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Famula on Line, Uniflotte, Herambiente, Hera Luce, Medea, Sotris, Nuova Geovis, Akron.

56.6% of the Group's open-ended contract workers are members of a union (almost two percentage points less than in 2010). The union membership rate is higher for blue-collar workers (67%), falling for white-collars (53%) and increasing amongst middle managers (31%) with respect to 2010.

Open-ended contract workers that are members of unions (breakdown by position)
Middle managers33%30%31%

The data refer to the following companies: Hera S.p.A., Marche Multiservizi, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Famula on Line, Uniflotte, Herambiente, Hera Luce, Medea, Sotris, Nuova Geovis, Akron.

Strikes (hours)
Total time on strike (hours)14,14823,27037,188
Time on strike (per capita)

The data refer to the following companies: Hera S.p.A., Marche Multiservizi, Famula on Line, Uniflotte, Hera Comm, Hera Trading, Herambiente, FEA, Acantho, Satcom (in 2009).

12 strikes were announced in 2011 (compared to 4 in 2010, of which none against Hera). Seven one-day strikes were against government policies; two were promoted by CGIL, one by CGIL, CISL, UIL and four by independent unions. A one-day strike announced only by Filctem CGIL regarded the renewal of the Federgasacqua national collective labour agreement and three initiatives of FP CGIL, FIT CISL, UILTRASPORTI, FIADEL, from the environment sector, regarded announcements of 50 minute strikes against the same number of mortal accidents which occurred at work throughout Italy. One one-hour strike was announced against Hera in the Rimini area by CGIL and UIL, from the gas/water sector, for strictly local reasons.

Litigation with the workforce
Litigation pending at the close of the year554037

Considering the Hera Group with the sole exclusion of Marche Multiservizi, as at 31 December 2011, 34 cases of litigation were pending, with specific balance sheet provisions made in view of the potential costs.
Of these, 5 were for recognition of a higher employment level, 6 for dismissals for just cause or surpassing the protected period, 1 for nullity of the fixed-term contract, 5 for recognition of an open-ended employment agreement, 7 for compensation of damages and payment of contractual indemnity, 1 to appeal a transfer, 3 for disciplinary sanctions, 4 regarding pensions and settlement of contributions, 2 lodged in the first instance by the company for compensation of damages and verification of the legitimacy of the disciplinary sanction applied.
The Marche Multiservizi Group has 3 cases pending with personnel, and one was completed during the year, all for recognition of a higher employment level.
In 2011, 152 disciplinary measures were taken against Group employees, in compliance with the applicable national labour agreements (compared to 187 in 2010). They mainly involved oral or written reprimands (72 cases), withholdings on salary (50 cases totalling Euro 1,130) and 27 temporary suspensions from work (18 less serious and 9 more serious cases). In three cases, it was necessary to resort to termination. Compared to prior years, there was a lower number of temporary suspensions from work (27 in 2011 compared to 28 in 2010 and 46 in 2009). All measures taken are consistent with the establishment of a new sanction system which was agreed with the trade unions and involves the application of withholdings from the accrual of holidays using a progressive system if the work schedule is not respected.