The decision of the European Committee of Social Rights on the merits of the complaint Unione Generale Lavoratori - Federazione Nazionale Corpo forestale dello Stato (UGL–CFS) and Sindacato autonomo polizia ambientale forestale (SAPAF) v. Italy (No. 143/2017) became public on 7 June 2019.
In their complaint UGL–CFS and SAPAF alleged that the incorporation of the (formerly civilian) State Forestry Corps into the Carabinieri (military police) Force violates the rights of the personnel concerned, in particular as regards:
- their right to earn their living in an occupation freely entered upon, in violation of Article 1§2 of the Revised European Social Charter (“the Charter”), as the contested measure substantially affects the conditions of work of the personnel concerned, whether they accept to acquire military status or opt for a reassignment to a civilian post;
- their right to organize, in violation of Article 5 of the Charter, taken separately or together with Article G of the Charter, because the trade union rights of the individuals transferred to the Carabinieri Force and the Guardia di Finanza are restricted as a result of their acquiring military status;
- their right to bargain collectively, in violation of Article 6§2 of the Charter, on account of the excessive restrictions imposed to the individuals transferred to the Carabinieri Force and Guardia di Finanza, as a result of their acquiring military status.
The European Committee of Social Rights adopted its decision on the merits on 3 July 2019.
In its decision on the merits, the Committee concluded:
- by 9 votes to 5 that Article 1§2 of the Charter is not applicable;
- by 12 votes to 2 that there is a violation of Article 5 of the Charter;
- by 13 votes to 1 that there is a violation of Article 6§2 of the Charter.