All four major unions in Fiat have now agreed to meet this afternoon (15 June) as a productivity agreement inches towards conclusion.

The FIM-CISL, UILM-UIL and FISMIC labour organisations are now locked in negotiations with Fiat in Rome's Italian Confederation of Industry building in a bid to thrash out the deal concerning the Pomigliano d'Acro plant.

A fourth union and Fiat's largest - FIOM - had previously expressed reservations surrounding the agreement that could see substantial new Panda work transferred from Poland to Italy, but now appears to be warming to the proposals.

The apparent thawing in relations will not see FIOM at the meeting in a formal capacity, but it will instead have the status of 'observer,' albeit one with the ability to voice its opinions.

"Although we are an observer, we may speak at the meeting," a FIOM spokesman close to the meeting in Rome told just-auto. "It is half and half [a solution]. It is half the way to Italian industrial relations."

FIOM insisted it had not rejected Fiat's text, but had put forward its own proposal for discussion agreed at yesterday's meeting of its general council.

"We understand the company needs to maximise use of the plant for 20 hours a day, six days a week," said the spokesman. "We are close to Fiat's proposal about production of 228,000 cars per year."

Fiat could invest around EUR700m (US$863m) in the Pomigliano d'Arco plant in exchange for the productivity improvements.