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First Ever Strike Planned at Milan Stock Exchange Amidst Union Concerns

TL;DR intro

  • Unprecedented Strike:Italian trade unions plan to strike Milan Stock Exchange for the first time ever.
  • Unions' Accusations:Unions accuse Euronext, the exchange's owner, of job cuts and reduced importance of the Italian bourse.

The Milan Stock Exchange, a cornerstone of Italy's financial sector, is facing unprecedented turmoil. Italian trade unions representing banking sector workers have announced plans for the first-ever strike at the exchange. Scheduled for the last two working hours of June 27th, the strike comes amidst rising tensions between the unions and Euronext, the exchange's owner since April 2021.

The unions, Fabi, First Cisl, and Fisac Cgil, accuse Euronext of "constant, systematic and overall disinvestment from Italy." They express fear of job cuts and a decline in the strategic importance of the Milan Stock Exchange. The planned strike highlights a potential clash between the interests of a global exchange operator and the concerns of workers in a key member state of the European Union.

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A Changing Landscape for European Stock Exchanges

Euronext, a pan-European exchange operator with bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Dublin, and other cities, acquired the Milan Stock Exchange from the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) for €4.3 billion in 2021. This move aimed to solidify Euronext's position as a central player in European stock market infrastructure. However, the acquisition has sparked anxieties among Italian workers.

Unions are worried about job relocation abroad, stagnant wages, and the increasing prevalence of night, weekend, and holiday shifts. Additionally, they fear that Borsa Italiana, the Milan Stock Exchange's operator, is losing its autonomy in terms of strategy and management.

"We want to protect Borsa Italiana workers and [politicians] must not take advantage of our action," said Lando Maria Sileoni, the secretary-general of Fabi, hinting at potential political tensions between France and Italy.

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Euronext Denies Claims, Emphasizes Commitment to Italy

Euronext has firmly rejected the unions' accusations. The company has called for "constructive dialogue" and pointed to its recent job creation efforts in Italy, with over 100 new positions filled in the past year. Euronext also highlighted its decision to move its derivatives and commodities clearing operations to Milan from July 2024 as a sign of its commitment to the Italian market.

This move holds particular significance as it reduces Euronext's reliance on London for clearing services, acquired through the purchase of CC&G clearing house alongside the Borsa Italiana.

While acknowledging the challenges of global competition, Euronext emphasized its strategic plan that focuses on optimizing existing processes to reinvest in growth areas and solidify the Italian presence within a stronger pan-European group. Led by CEO Stéphane Boujnah, Euronext has actively acquired European exchanges in recent years, aiming to solidify its regional dominance.

The upcoming strike promises to disrupt the Milan Stock Exchange's operations, potentially impacting investor confidence. As both sides present their arguments, it remains to be seen how this situation unfolds.

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