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March 23, 2011updated 08 Apr 2021 8:07am

ITALY: Union refutes Fiat’s Gugliasco claim

Fiat's main union at the former Bertone plant in Turin is contesting the automaker's view it refused to agree to productivity improvements similar to those at the nearby Mirafiori plant in return for a EUR500m investment.

Fiat’s main union at the former Bertone plant in Turin is contesting the automaker’s view it refused to agree to productivity improvements similar to those at the nearby Mirafiori plant in return for a EUR500m investment.

The Italian manufacturer told just-auto today (23 March) that talks concerning the plant had stalled due to union intransigence – a view hotly contested by FIOM.

“We did not refuse, this is not true,” a FIOM spokesman in Italy told just-auto. “The company asked the [four] unions [for] more or less the same kind of agreement at Pomigliano d’Arco and Mirafiori – FIOM does not want to sign an agreement similar to this.

“This is my feeling – everybody is waiting. It is not the beginning and it is not the end.”

It appears talks between FIOM and Fiat broke up only late last night with the union spokesman insisting he had had only “a very, very short conversation” with his Turin secretary before further details become available, perhaps later today.

Conceding the EUR500m potential investment was “significant of course,” FIOM claimed Fiat “did not want to have a war” with the union at the Officine Automobilistiche Grugliasco (formerly Corrozzeria Bertone) plant in Turin.

However, it seems FIOM may hold more cards than it did at Pomigliano and Mirafiori due to its overwhelming superiority in union membership compared to the three other Italian labour bodies present at the 2,300 strong plant.

“The condition of the battlefield is not the same,” said the FIOM spokesman. “FIOM has the majority – this is very important.

Fiat has said the investment – part of its Fabbrica Italia plan – could see up to 50,000 vehicles produced annually – mainly a smaller Maserati model.

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