Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: New Report Examines How Italian Amazon Workers Became the First To Reach a National Collective Bargaining Agreement With the Company
Press Release

RELEASE: New Report Examines How Italian Amazon Workers Became the First To Reach a National Collective Bargaining Agreement With the Company

Washington, D.C. — A new report from the Center for American Progress Action Fund looks at the success Italian Amazon workers had in reaching a collective bargaining agreement with the company in 2021. While Amazon workers around the world have been attempting to sign collective bargaining agreements with the company for years, only in Italy have workers succeeded in reaching a nationwide agreement with the firm. The report examines the successful Italian unionization effort and finds that three factors were likely critical for enabling Italian unions to sign a collective bargaining agreement with Amazon:

  • Pressure from workers, including an Amazonwide strike that disrupted the firm’s operations and incentivized the company to bargain.
  • A supportive policy environment, especially assistance from the Italian minister of labor, encouraged Amazon to negotiate.
  • Italy’s sectoral bargaining system facilitated worker activism, anchored discussions, and reduced Amazon’s opposition to an agreement.

The report examines how each of these three factors facilitated the Italian agreement and looks at their applicability in other countries, including the United States. And while the report is clear that the Italian workers’ achievement may not be directly replicable outside of Italy, it does suggest a path forward.

“The Staten Island Amazon workers successful unionization vote last month was a historic victory at a notoriously hard-to-organize company. Still, reaching a collective bargaining agreement with the company will likely be challenging,” said David Madland, author of the report and senior adviser to the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “The experience of the Italian Amazon workers contains lessons for Amazon workers on how to build on grassroots power within the supportive policy framework that the Biden administration is providing.”

Read the report: “Lessons From Italian Unions’ Historic Agreement With Amazon” by David Madland

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Julia Cusick at jcusick.af@americanprogressaction.org.