UIL (Unione Italiana del Lavoro) started on the initiative of a group of people united in ideals and goals. They built it by identifying the goals that could be reached through modern democratic, autonomous, independent, and Socialist-oriented organizations. Thus, the long-standing tradition and DNA of UIL are deeply rooted in unique principles that characterize its creators. Early enough, these principles were evident in the creators, starting from their opposition to the Fascist regime and commitment to the Resistance movement.
One could also see these unique principles in their union activity in the Confederation. The creators of UIL brought the principles into the organization, which were pursued by Filippo Turati, the reformers' leader. The principles were laid in the wake of the ideals of another of Italy's great fathers, Giuseppe Mazzini, who's always had a topical thought. Both Taurasi and Mazzini were giants who influenced the ideal choices those who shaped and led UIL made at the political level.
Meanwhile, another great figure of importance in the heritage of UIL is Bruno Buozzi; he was the example to follow at the union level. Bruno Buozi became the permanent reference point for several prestigious men who founded and subsequently organized UIL.
The ideal heritage of Unione Italiana del Lavoro was enriched by the Partito d’Azione movement and Carlo e Nello Rosselli’s lessons. The union's heritage benefited from the political contributions of Leo Valiani, Ignazio Silone, and a lot of other great intellectuals. The intellectuals made great, significant contributions and supported UIL in a way that perfectly fitted its model derived by Bruno Buozzi. Buozzi gave so much energy to building the union, but he was assassinated before he could see his efforts crowned with success.
On March 11, 1945, a monument was inaugurated and devoted to Bruno Buozzi in the Verano cemetery. On occasion, Guiseppe Di Vittorio read a speech describing the Socialist as the real CGIL leader. In his words: Buozzi was violently torn from CGIL, where he was bound to be its natural leader. Achille Grandi, a popular figure, also paid an important tribute to Bruno Buozzi. He stated that everyone, whatever their political complexion, saw the union movement leader in Buozzi.
This recognition and judgment of the union's putative father make the latter proud because he has become an integral part of its DNA. Thus, it maintains that the union's DNA is a mixture of cultural and political contributions and valuable union.
UIL History: Growth and Development
Two hundred fifty-three delegates representing many executives at the local level participated in establishing UIL on March 5, 1950. Each of them was willing to make an organizational choice that could offer workers a hegemony-free union. They aimed to build a union from the hegemony of the two major political parties already reigning within the CGIL and CISL. They worked together to build a union that could address current issues and define future activity's strategic lines.
The credit for much of the union's growth goes to its heritage, which has helped it reproduce a secular and independent organization. Even from its creation, UIL has always rejected any party's influence over it, refusing to be an ordinary tool with restricted responsibilities. Instead, the union has always aimed at becoming an autonomous confederation that could directly or indirectly tackle any problem influencing workers' interests. Its tasks go beyond wage claims and regulation of workers' rights and duties in companies or factories.
This fundamental stance has affected preserving the union's role while inspiring most of its claim policy. The union's founders found that they all shared the necessary energy to launch and make the organization known. Regardless of their political background, they worked to project UIL as a new union model. The union has succeeded in reaching those results by going over its seventy-two-year history and tracing back the pathway its Congress followed.
The union's Congresses marked the pathway they followed in seventy-two years with slogans that embodied their choices at the beginning. Every slogan attributed to the union has a specific meaning that is largely understood and appreciated by its members. In addition, all four Congresses were focused on the new way to be union members. Their slogans included "Participation for Change," From Antagonism to Protagonism," "Make Italy Work," and "Look to the Future."
The new slogans of the four congresses captured and represented a modern transposition of Bruno Buozzi's ideals more than previous ones. UIL has been re-proposing the centrality of work and its role with slogans that capture its essence. These include "…More Unionism," "More Value for Work," "Labour Rights, Labour for Development," and "Work, The Real Wealth of the Country." The last Congress's slogan further reaffirms the role reformism played in achieving a more equitable and just society.
The slogan, "UIL, The Reformist Future," re-establishes the union's role in the framework of ongoing democratic, social, and civil progress. Thanks to the quick roundup of slogans, union members can show to what extent UIL has been attached to its roots. Through the slogans, UIL can interpret current times and, by anticipating them, can adjust its activity to change. The slogans help the union members remember the initial choices when they first set the organization up.
The bulk of the work has been on the recent Congresses of Unione Italiana del Lavoro to show the union's efficacy and how much UIL places work at the core of its activity as the country's wealth bank and value for human and material resources. They've also viewed reformism as the only way the whole society can be enhanced and, overall, developed. The natural prevailing of the union's DNA is what liberals and reformers could pass down to UIL's current leaders.
Just like the UIL's previous leaders have been able to pass down these values to current leaders. Likewise, the union's current and subsequent leaders will continue to pass down its DNA and values to future generations of leaders. Passing down the union's roots and DNA is necessary to ensure that the organization's development continues for a long time.