NAPLES, Italy — Two unions representing Italian civilian employees at U.S. bases in Italy have agreed to meet with military officials again in October to finalize a new job classification plan for some top-level personnel.

This puts on hold possible strikes by union members before the next round of talks.

“I have told my union members to suspend the strikes,” said Union Italiana del Lavoro General Secretary Emilio Fargnoli Fargnoli.

Representatives from the UIL and Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori unions met with the U.S. Joint Civilian Personnel Committee late last week in La Maddalena, Italy, to discuss the classification plan.

A source familiar with the plan, who asked not to be identified, said the agreement involves increased pay grades for less than two dozen top-level base employees.

Fargnoli said he hopes the two sides will be able to come to an agreement when they meet again Oct. 8-9 here in Naples.

“I think it was a good meeting,” he said. “We discussed a lot about the problems with the JCPC and the unions. I think we will work very good with this president and the JCPC.”

Stars and Stripes’ request to talk to JCPC members about the meeting resulted in a two-paragraph statement that briefly explained the background of the dispute and said the two sides met last week and will meet next month. It provided no specific details on the revised grading plan.

The statement did say that when the two sides meet again, they will also attempt to establish “a plan and schedule for re-negotiation of the local national collective labor agreement.”

A second JCPC response to questions on details of the meeting said though progress was made “it is inappropriate for the U.S. forces to discuss the specific details of our meetings with the unions.”

Union members twice went on strike before last week’s meeting, once for four hours on July 25; and all day Sept. 3.

Both strikes lengthened the employees’ weekends but caused little disruption to base operations.

The Naples Navy Exchange did close on Sept. 3 after striking firefighters caused the base commander to consolidate those remaining at the base’s main Capodichino complex and Gricignano base housing area.

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