During the summer, when many were rushing to go on vacation, Gabriele Croppo, a father from Rome with six children and 23 years of working life in tow, made a momentous decision for him and his family. He left his permanent position and it was done autonomous.
It was not an easy decision. Croppo’s work, until the outbreak of the pandemic, had consisted of offering training courses to health workers and medical personnel, but, with the rise of Zoom and other similar platforms, the sector began to suffer from competition. Croppo was affected by an ERTE and, once he was able to rejoin, he had to face a long negotiation that culminated in the offer of a part-time contract.
“That made me very sad, I felt that I no longer fit into that project, that I had become a burden, and my family began to notice my depression. I could not hide what I felt. Up to that moment I had had a very intense working life, and the benefits of high-ranking employees, “recalls this man who telecommuting, another novelty of the pandemic, it also took him to start working from his car. “With nowhere else to go and a house full of people, I just had no choice,” he says. Although he now has several clients with whom he collaborates, he is still willing to be hired by a company.
Yours is not an isolated story. Weeks ago, after the Italian Ministry of Labor issued the regular report on the second quarter of this year, a group of Italian researchers discovered that almost 500,000 Italian employees they had voluntarily resigned from their fixed contracts from April to June, 85% more than the same quarter in 2020 and a figure higher even than in previous years.
“It is a completely new trend that has already been detected in the United States and it will be interesting to observe if it also affects other European countries,” said researcher Francesco Armillei, from the London School of Economics, when asked. “The sure thing is that even it is difficult to accurately identify its causes and circumstances”He added. Even so, other experts have indicated that one factor could be the dissatisfaction of many of these workers with a labor market, the Italian, in which in the last 20 years wages have fallen instead of rising, the tax burden is high and also there are few facilities to reconcile work with private life. A malaise that has increased due to the pandemic.
In Croppo’s case, the breaking point came months after learning about the change that his company was proposing. “I held out for a few months, during which I also tried to find another permanent job in some other company. But, not finding an alternative, I made the decision, “he says, explaining that he also He was helped by the financial support that his wife was able to give him. “She is an anesthetist and she also changed her workplace this year, just a few months before me. He went to work for a public hospital ”, he reveals.
Surprisingly, in August this year, Lucija Buzuk, a Bosnian nurse of Croatian origin who has been living in Italy for two decades, chose a similar path. After 12 years employed in a private personal care company, opted for a position in a public hospital from Treviso, the northern Italian city where he works. “I did not do it so much for the salary, which is almost the same, if not because I realized that in the private sector the worker has fewer guarantees,” he explains.
Buzuk could have convincing proof of this when, after winning the opposition and joining his new job, they made his first medical visit. “They immediately recognized me that because of a herniated disc that I have and an injury that I have carried since the war in Bosnia, I cannot lift very heavy things. What’s more overtime is not compensated with days off that my boss randomly assigns, but it is paid ”, abounds.
The public as a guarantee
Giancarlo Go, union representative for CGIL, Italy’s main union, confirms this trend. “In the last year there has been a leakage of toilets from the private sector to the public sector, after the State finally decided to call new oppositions,” explains the trade unionist. “This is causing a massive displacement of workers from the private sector, in which working conditions are worse because everything revolves around generating economic benefits“Go says, explaining that right now” there are many private centers with problems to guarantee their services because of the phenomenon.
The rout, however, has also occurred for other reasons. This is the case that reflects the story of Gaia Alaimo, a 29-year-old Italian-Greek young woman who used to be in charge of internal communication for a multinational company and who left her job in November 2020 after three years in the position. “I was actually doing well at my job, I was even promoted twice. I left because I wanted to create something of my own, and the pandemic was an accelerator that made me understand that the time had come ”, says this young woman from Milan who today is dedicated to helping other young people to promote their professional careers and collaborates as an independent consultant in communication projects for various companies.
“Maybe someone will say that I am the typical presumptuous millennial, who wants everything and that’s it, but my point of view is different. Wasn’t Steve Jobs young when he founded Apple? “I want a better job.”