ITALY: FIOM in last minute talks as three unions sign deal
Three of Fiat's four major unions have inked a new productivity deal to secure a EUR700m (US$860m) investment, but the largest labour representative is meeting today (14 June) to decide its response.
The three unions agreed to new working flexibility at Fiat's Pomigliano d'Arco plant last Friday evening, but the central committee of FIOM is currently holding talks to determine its stance to the deal.
Should Fiat secure agreement it could invest the EUR700m to switch Panda production from Poland to Italy, but it would ideally like the unanimous support of its worker representatives with a vote due to be held at the Pomigliano plant.
"The three unions will meet with our negotiators and it will go forward from there, but it is still not concluded," a Fiat spokesman told just-auto.
"We could do it without FIOM but obviously we would prefer to have everyone signed up to more flexible practices."
Fiat is making a direct link with the productivity improvements in order to secure a transfer of work on the new Panda from its Polish plant to Pomigliano d'Arco. The company says output could consequently increase from 40,000 to 300,000 vehicles per year.
"At this very moment there is the meeting of the central committee and we must decide," a FIOM spokesman told just-auto. "The other unions said we don't like the text of the agreement - but we will say yes. FIOM has not said yes or no.
"There are many problems with the text. There is a problem of working time organisation."
FIOM's objection would appear to hinge on changes it says Fiat apparently wants to introduce to the working week which will see six-day operation of the Pomigliano d'Arco plant as well as increasing annual working time by 120 hours.
"The EUR700m is a lot of money but this is the show they [Fiat] are living now," said the FIOM spokesman. "They have said from the beginning, this is the last text, we have to say yes or no.
I don't know if we will talk to Fiat again - this is one of the things we are discussing."