The Fiat case provides an opportunity to discuss the meaning of “personal beliefs” (and in particular to establish whether it includes beliefs associated with trade union affiliation and activity) within the scope of Directive 2000/78/CE, and in general within the EU and ECHR legal framework. Moreover, it represents the first case in which a major industry trade dispute has been reframed in the language of antidiscrimination law, giving rise also to the first strategic litigation case in this field. The paper analyses the relevant aspects of the case from national, supranational and comparative perspectives, and discusses whether it simply provides an example of the plaintiff’s strategic readiness to exploit the normative resources granted by antidiscrimination law, or whether the case itself can be seen as a locus where, instead of identities rooted in the workplace, new social identities, linked to personal characteristics, have emerged and been expressed through the plaintiff’s and court’s narratives.
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