Head of Italy's largest union to resign, rejoin Pirelli

Associated Press, Hoover's Online, 9 June 2002, 9:58am

ROME (AP)—The head of Italy's largest union and a man touted as a possible leader in the center-left opposition is leaving his post at the CGIL union July 8, his spokesman said Sunday.

Sergio Cofferati, whose eight-year term at CGIL is expiring, will be joining the Pirelli tiremaker, where he previously worked, spokesman Massimo Gibelli said. He didn't say what job Cofferati would be doing at Pirelli.

Political observers say Cofferati could be among those leading the center-left's coalition in the next general elections, which are scheduled for 2006. Cofferati hasn't commented about possible political ambitions.

On April 16, Cofferati united unions in the country's biggest general strike in 20 years to protest the government's proposed labor reforms that would make it easier for employers to fire certain workers.

Current labor laws give Italians among the highest levels of job security in Europe.