Fiat on Monday said that a strike now entering its third week at a southern Italian factory had cut car production by 35,000 vehicles, or 2% of total annual production.


Reuters noted that the protest has hit Fiat as the automotive giant tries to recover from years of operating losses.


Pickets and roadblocks around the factory in Melfi, southern Italy, have been dismantled but Fiat said some strikers were impeding other employees from reaching their jobs, the report added.


Reuters noted that steelworker unions began a strike at Melfi on April 19, demanding higher salaries and better working conditions at the factory set up in one of Italy’s least industrialised regions. National union overseers have since begun sporadic talks with the company, but some union groups in Melfi voted to continue their walkout on Monday.


The report said production at Melfi has resumed at a reduced level but other Fiat Auto factories have also had to cut back due to the unavailability of key components.


Fiat reportedly called for Melfi’s assembly lines to return to full productivity and said it was willing to meet with union representatives to discuss their complaints.