- Launched April 2020
- Collection finished
An appeal to the Conte administration, spearheaded by SLC-CGIL and STRADE, for the Cura Italia decree to be expanded to cover creative workers.
In this trying time for Italy, SLC-CGIL (the communication workers’ union), STRADE (the section devoted to translators), and the trade associations backing this petition are doing all they can to amplify the voice and ensure the visibility of the many atypical workers they represent, who are currently excluded from the income support measures in the “Cura Italia” decree.
These creative figures include writers, translators, illustrators, photographers, and cartoonists. Though they play a crucial role in the book industry and the cultural marketplace, they are a financially vulnerable group, plagued by low pay and constant collection problems. Many are not registered with the SIAE or other copyright collecting societies, and since they primarily earn their income from authors’ rights, they are shut out of the social security system. They’re an invisible multitude, numbering in the thousands.
And although culture will carry on its mission, it shouldn’t be forced to crawl.
With all bookshops shuttered (a crushing blow for the independent ones) and all fairs and live events cancelled, the whole publishing industry is on standby. The immediate effects are expected to be devastating. In a newsletter dated 24 March, the AIE (Associazione Italiana Editori – Italian Publishers Association) estimated that in 2020 there will be “18,600 fewer works published; 39.3 million fewer copies printed and packaged.” Moreover, a report from the AIE committee set up to monitor the impact of Covid-19 on the publishing sector, dated 30 March, predicts that the number of books translated this year will drop by 3,100 titles.
Remote working and e-commerce will not be enough to ensure real continuity or make up for the gap in the end market.
The Italian government must therefore rapidly expand its financial support measures to cover cultural creators and provide them with an adequate safety net.
Under article 27 of the recent Cura Italia decree, these professional figures do not qualify for one-off financial assistance because there is currently no way for them to be registered with social security. This is an incomprehensible oversight that we believe should be redressed by letting them apply for the reddito di emergenza and extending these emergency payments beyond the month of March.
The emergency fund for the performing arts, film, and audio-visual work (article 89 of the decree) should also be extended to cultural creators who work in publishing. Alternatively, a specific fund with a similar endowment (at least 130 million euros) should be set up for the publishing industry, while weighing the possibility of turning it into a structural fund. This idea also has the support of the leading publishers’ associations, AIE and ADEI.
SLC-CGIL, together with STRADE, AITI, ANITI and AI – Autori di Immagini, are asking the Italian government to make sure no one is left behind. Even in the cultural sector.
Translation by Johanna Bishop.
First signers include:
Massimo Arcangeli, linguist, author, critic
Stefano Arduini, Nida School of Translation Studies
Gabriella Armando, publisher
Davide Camarrone, author, journalist, director of Festival delle Letterature Migranti
Giulio Cavalli, author, actor
J.M. Coetzee, author, Nobel laureate
Giovanni De Mauro, editor of Internazionale
Fulvia Degl’Innocenti, author, president of ICWA
Jared Diamond, author
Hernan Diaz, author
Catherine Dunne, author
Angelo Ferracuti, author
Ernesto Ferrero, author, translator
Jonathan Franzen, author
Fabio Geda, author
Vera Gheno, author
Daniel Handler a.k.a Lemony Snicket, author
Nicola Lagioia, author, director of the Turin International Book Fair
Loredana Lipperini, author, radio host
Valerio Magrelli, author, translator
Robert Menasse, author
Carlotta Natoli, actor
Salvatore Natoli, philosopher, scholar
Giuseppe Patota, linguist at Accademia della Crusca
Roberto Piumini, author
Antonio Prete, author, translator
Fabio Pusterla, poet, translator
Christian Raimo, author
Livia Rocchi, author, ICWA board member
Isabella Salmoirago, author, ICWA board member
Sara Saorin and Francesca Segato, publishers
Chiara Segré, author, vice-president of ICWA
Evgenij Solonovich, translator
Flavio Soriga, author
David Szalay, author
Bruno Tognolini, author
Thomas Trabacchi, actor
Tiziana Triana, editorial director
Clara Usón, author
Chiara Valerio, author
Giorgio Vasta, author, director of Book Pride
Rosa Ventrella, author
[cover photo by Eugenio Mazzone on Unsplash]
This petition has been translated into the following languages
on 06 May 2020
Since the Cura Italia decree has now been converted into law, we have stopped collecting signatures. For the moment our requests have gone unanswered. We are pursuing other paths.
Many, many thanks for your support.
The Executive Board of Strade
on 11 Apr 2020
on 09 Apr 2020