If you follow the Italian news in Italian, you will have heard a lot lately about the articolo 18. I had already gathered from the context that it was a law dealing with job security and that attempts to amend this article, part of the Monti government's efforts to bring financial stability to Italy, are meeting with strong opposition, especially from unions, but also at the grass roots level.
This 18th article is part of the Statuto dei lavoratori. While it does not guarantee complete protection from termination, it does place the burden of proof on the employer to show that the termination was for just cause. In cases where the employee wins, he or she has the right to resume the former position. This is quite different from our system in the US, where almost all workers are employed at will, that is, they can be terminated at any time for any reason, or no reason.
It is obvious to me that Italy is moving in the direction of employment at will. Although they will get there kicking and screaming.
(the picture shows the famed Quarto Stato by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, honoring the nobility of the worker-how quaint it seems now)