Italian union sources maintain the upcoming meeting between Fiat CEO, Sergio Marchionne and Italian labour bodies to detail a new business plan for the automaker, will not see plant closures unveiled.
Speculation has mounted in Italy Fiat could wield the axe on some element of its five domestic factories, but moderate Italian metalworkers union, FIM, insists cutting sites in the country will not be on Marchionne’s agenda.
“Marchionne said Fiat has a new industrial plan for Italy,” former FIM national secretary, Bruno Vitali, told just-auto. “He said no closures in Italy, absolutely nothing.
“I am optimistic because first he said no closing plants [that] is good for us. Next step is to understand the way to have work in Italy for all the plants. The problem is the crisis in Italy and Europe – in Italy it is a very low market.”
Marchionne’s announcement of the 30 October meeting with unions appears to signal the final nail in the coffin of Fiat’s Fabbrica Italia plan, which hardline union, FIOM, described to just-auto this summer as “like a glass of water, dissolved.”
Fiat in Turin confirmed Marchionne would be meeting the unions, although it is unclear if FIOM will attend.
A spokeswoman for the automaker also told just-auto Marchionne had said there would be no plant closures.
This summer saw Fiat temporarily shut its Panda-producing Pomigliano d’Arco plant for a five consecutive weeks in response to the catastrophic fall in Italian and European demand
“It is the end of the Fabbrica Italia idea because [it] was two years ago in a different time,” said Vitali. “Prices have increased and Fabbrica Italia is not possible to proceed.”
Despite union insistence there will be no closures, Marchionne, in his capacity as head of European carmakers association, ACEA, recently advocated Continent-wide action, although this appears to have cut little ice with the organisation’s members.
Former FIM national secretary, Vitali, has now moved to become vice president of Italian training organisation, Fondimpresa, which works with unions and manufacturing body, Confindustria.