The article analyses the March 2018 agreement between Confindustria, the largest Italian employers’ association, and the three largest trade union confederations (Cgil, Cisl, Uil) on «contents and guidelines of industrial relations and collective bargaining». It follows a number of agreements on similar topics reached in 2011, 2013, 2014, and deals with all the main features of the system - representation, bargaining, conflict, participation - in view of a new phase of Italian industrial relations. Three questions are discussed. Whether the agreement under exam contains significant novelties compared with previous agreements; whether it is likely to provide a solution to problems inherited by those agreements, with particular reference to the issue of the certified representativeness of all industrial relations actors, employers’ associations included; whether it is likely to improve productivity, one of the gravest and long lasting problems of the Italian economy. The answer is positive to the first question; positive but with significant qualifications to the second question; rather dubitative with regard to the third one.
Keywords: Italy; Industrial relations; Agreements; Contractual model; Representation; Productivity.