Fiat's decision to cut production by 13,000 units in October, leading to the temporary layoff of several thousand workers, has provoked its largest union - Fiom - to call a national four-hour long strike in protest.

"We have decided to call a national strike in protest against Fiat's industrial plan - which is making us sacrifice more and more workers every month," Nando Liuzzi told Dow Jones Newswires.

Fiat is continuing to experience difficulties this year as losses mount and the company loses share in the Italian market, in spite of incentives introduced by the government which should be helping. Orders for the new Fiat Stilo have also been disappointing.

Dow Jones reports that the planned strikes will affect all Fiat production plants at separate times, with the first four-hour strike is scheduled to happen in Turin, on September 13.