“The minimum wage provided by National collective bargaining agreements (NCBA) may violate the principle of proportionality and/or of sufficiency”
Unions’ decisions are always subject to the verification of compliance with Art. 36 of the Italian Constitution, as it happens for ordinary laws too.
Tribunal of Bari, Judgment no. 2720 of 12 October 2023.
In the specific case, the employee claimed salary differences in light of the application of the NCBA for Private Security to his employment relationship, which provides for a minimum gross monthly salary of € 930 for 40 hours per week.
First of all, the Tribunal confirms its power to rule on constitutional conformity of minimum wage, as Art. 36 Const. represents a fundamental reference for both Laws and NCBAs.
Therefore, a judicial review is not excluded even if both Case-law and Law make reference to NCBAs to implement the above principles.
According to the Tribunal, indeed, the proportionality and sufficiency required by Art. 36 Const. are autonomous concepts quite distinct from the Unions’ decisions expressed in NCBAs.
Therefore, it can’t be excluded that the minimum wage provided by NCBAs may violate the principle of art. 36 Const.
To set a minimum wage according to the principle of art. 36 Const., the Judges must consider the minimum wages provided for similar duties by others NCBAs and the I.S.T.A.T. absolute poverty threshold rate.
According to the Tribunal, the comparison to minimum wages provided for similar duties by others NCBAs is a fundamental practice for the purpose of evaluate the salary’s proportionality and sufficiency. Whereas, the I.S.T.A.T. absolute poverty threshold rate represents just a minimum amount below which the sufficiency of a full-time salary should be doubted.
In the present case, the appellant’s salary was lower than minimum wages provided for similar duties by others NCBAs and below the I.S.T.A.T. absolute poverty threshold rate.
The Tribunal ruled in favour of the employee, declaring that the minimum wage applied to him was not compliance with Art. 36 Const. and awarded salary differences to be calculated applying the minimum wage provided, for similar duties, by a different NCBA.