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Italy: Associazioni cristiane lavoratori italiani - Colf (ACLI COLF)

by IDWFED published May 01, 2017 12:00 AM
Associazioni cristiane lavoratori italiani - Colf (ACLI COLF)
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Originally, the organization was formed in 1945 called GAD (Domestic ACLI Groups).  In 1964, the association changed its name from GAD to ACLI Family Collaborators (Acli Colf).  Today it is a “movement” organization, with 25 local associations of domestic workers in Italy.

This is a migrant domestic workers organization with a constitution and elected leadership of domestic workers.  It has over 6000 members, all dues-paying.  It works closely with FILCAMS, our affiliate in Italy which recommends its affiliation to the IDWF. 

1) about 6000 members (5857 in 2015), 72.36% are women; 56.94% are migrants from 87 countries with Ukraine, Romania and Philippines being the three main top countries of origin.

2) All members pay dues, between Euros 10 and 20, depending on the provinces.

3) Migrant domestic workers: 56.94% of the Acli Colf members come from abroad (3335), while the Italians are 43.06% (2522). The foreigners who form part of our association come from 87 countries. The top three are Ukrainians, Romanians, Filipinos. In general, the majority come from Eastern Europe (45.7%).

4) Originally, the organization was formed in 1945 called GAD (Domestic ACLI Groups).  In 1964, the association changed its name from GAD to ACLI Family Collaborators (Acli Colf).  Today it is a “movement” organization, with 25 local associations of domestic workers in Italy.

5) In principle, the Acli Colf association played a role of information and protection, denouncing violations of workers' rights and promoting actions for the social recognition of the category.

The 1950s were important because some laws and some fundamental rights were passed:

  • - Law number 35 of January 18, 1952 on the extension of health insurance;
  • - Law 940 of December 27, 1953, on the payment of the thirteenth month (aguinaldo);
  • - and, above all, approved the first and only organic measure of protection in domestic work, ie Law 339 of April 2, 1958.

In those years, our leaders worked hard to recognize the rights of workers and, at the same time, carried out a reflection on the social promotion of the category.

Of particular importance was the fourth National Assembly of 1961, in which the "collaboratrice familiare" figure (synthesized in "COLF") was born, that is to say, the domestic worker who collaborates with the family, emphasizing social value Which has this collaboration that often was not - and still today - is not recognized.

Thanks also to this cultural reflection, during the V Assembly of the category in Genoa in 1964, the association changed its name from GAD by ACLI Family Collaborators (ACLI COLF).

The same Congress also affirmed the importance of some objectives that still today are relevant:

  • - equalize domestic work with other professions;
  • - improve the laws protecting this work;
  • - to create a professional and technical figure prepared to carry out this work;
  • - to bring domestic workers out of the home and make them participate fully in social life.

To achieve these objectives our association developed professional training courses for the category. A national school was born (the School of Cevo 1957-1963) and began to keep a Professional Registry of skilled domestic workers.

Some key objectives:

  • recognition of the fundamental social and cultural importance of domestic work and care (the work of "assisting" the person in their home) as a relational property of the family and society;
  • propose a different work organization that takes into account the needs of families and allows working time to be reconciled over time to care for children and the elderly;
  • to educate the legality against evasion of the contribution and in favor of the emergence of undeclared work;
  • to provide consultation services on contractual rights and their application;
  • promote the protection of workers and the full recognition of new rights still unrecognized such as maternity, sickness, etc. .. Also to encourage a comprehensive review of legislation on the recognition of the same rights as other workers;
  • to work for the construction of a "Welfare a colori" - "Welfare colorado", that is to say, a more inclusive social protection system capable of protecting and promoting the rights of all and therefore also of the immigrants;
  • promote vocational training courses to qualify as domestic work and care
  • promote meetings, conferences, seminars to spread a culture of the dignity of housework and care


Despite the many difficulties of those years (including a painful associative fraction in 1971), Acli Colf's activities continued firmly and tenaciously. In the 1970s and 1980s, cultural debates and ideas for the development of rights for women workers, concrete experiences in the provinces and also important new initiatives, such as associated labor cooperatives organized in more than 20 provinces and Completed in attendance.

In particular the year 1969 was very important, since the abrogation of Article 2068 of the Civil Code was prohibited, which prohibited the possibility of contractually regulating domestic work relationships. Thanks to the important battles carried out by domestic workers in those years, on 22 May 1974 at the Ministry of Labor, the first collective agreement on domestic work was signed. Since then the Collective Agreement is renewed every four years (the last update was on 05.07.2013).

The association has the following national structure: National Secretary, National Secretariat (5 people), National Executive (15 people to which regional secretaries must be added).

The same at the provincial and regional level (two coordinators).  Election among members takes place every 4 years.  The last was in 2013.

Organization Constitution