Just Transition and Industrial Relations: the Italian Patterns

Paolo Tomassetti


This article investigates historical and current patterns of the Italian Just Transition process. Drawing on the main findings of the Agreenment project, the article discusses the contribution of industrial relations institutions to the decarbonisation of Italian capitalism. The nuances of the Italian case are emphasised, along with the complexities and dilemmas that the transition to a low-carbon economy involves for workers, firms and their representatives. These complexities are the result of broader contradictions of the Italian capitalism, evident in the historical evolution of industrial relations as well as in contemporary Just Transition policies. The article concludes that industrial relations institutions are both part of the problem and part of the solution: by embracing the ideals of Just Transition and sustainable development, they deconstruct the trade-off between labour and the environment but at the same time they reproduce it, legitimising the industrial socio-economic model and the correlated environmental and social disfunctions.