ROME, March 20 (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti said on Tuesday he would no longer negotiate with left-wing trade union CGIL and that his labour reform had been substantially agreed, despite CGIL objections to making it easier to fire workers.
"The CGIL dissented on Article 18, but on this matter the question is closed," Monti told reporters in reference to an article of the labour statute which offers strong protection against firing and which he wants to change. Nonetheless, he said, he was "worried" by the dissent from the CGIL.
Monti said at a news conference that he would explain to Italy's international partners how the reform will make the country's labour system "more modern" and more attractive to foreign investors.
In a surprise move, Labour Minister Elsa Fornero said the changes proposed to Article 18 would affect all workers as soon as they are approved by parliament, not just new hires.