General Labour Union (Italy)

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Full name General Labour Union
Native name Unione Generale del Lavoro
Founded 1950
Affiliation ITUC
Key people Francesco Paolo Capone, general secretary;
Office location Rome, Italy
Country Italy

The Origins

Unione Generale del Lavoro (Acronym UGL) is an Italian Trade Union Confederation established in 1950, with the original denomination Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Nazionali Lavoratori (CISNAL). In 1996, CISNAL assumed its current name of Unione Generale del Lavoro, a symbolic change in order to respond to the new challenges of third millennium society and the reforms of work legislation, without forgetting the founders’ values.

The UGL, which has about 2 million members, has a close collaboration with the Lega di Matteo Salvini.

Currently the Deputy Minister of Labor of the Lega - 5 Stelle government is Claudio Durigon, former Deputy Secretary General of UGL.

At enterprise level UGL develops the Trade Union action in order to defend employees’ rights. In the framework of Italian industrial relations, it concurs to the realisation of collective labour agreements.

UGL representatives seek to influence social legislation and policies, in the consultation process with the Public Authorities and the other Social Partners.

UGL has it own delegates as members of Italian and European institutions which gather civil society as CNEL and EESC.

Values and aims

UGL, considering fundamental the centrality and the dignity of the human being, identifies in the Trade Union action a pillar for the improvement of the social justice. UGL aims to a sustainable economic development in a modern society, in a vision that considers as the ultimate objective the overall national interest. UGL has a vision known at international level as the so called “conservative socialism” or “third position” (in Italian known as “social right-wing”), which aims to a synthesis between right-wing cultural views and left-wing economic views. In order to achieve this aim UGL proposes: • To overcome the ideological concept of social class and the consequent class conflict • To promote employees participation in the companies • To fight all the discriminations in the work places • To support the unity in the world of work

UGL considers that the achievement of an efficient social dialogue at Italian, European and World-wide level, could represent a great resource to guarantee the workers’ rights, besides being an indispensable instrument able to contrast the worst consequences of globalisation.

Thus, UGL is completely involved in the main challenge of our times: to realise a new social dimension of globalisation, which should lead to a growth of the life quality in the poorest countries without put at risk all that has been conquered in the western ones.

All this will be achieved if all the workers – both from emergent Countries and from industrialised ones – will have a full consciousness of their own rights, and if they will be able to undertake all the necessary actions to realise an efficient and fair social dialogue for fighting against exploitation, poverty and social exclusion.


UGL is articulated in two different kinds of structures:

Territorial Structures at regional and provincial level, with 20 Regional Offices (URL), correspondent to the twenty Italian Regions, and Provincial Offices (UTL) for every Italian province

Professional Federations for each working sector Moreover it provides the following services: social assistance, fiscal assistance, professional training, agrarian training, housing assistance, promotion of culture and tourism, international cooperation.

The communication activities of UGL are realised by the publication of texts and documents, the Confederation’s newspaper “La Meta Sociale” (The social goal) with a witha daily edition “La Meta serale” and through the web-site, which shows all the activitiesand is updated by the Confederal press office.

Related items


  • ICTUR et al.,, ed. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7.

External links

  • Official site in Italian
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