Three of Italy's most powerful trade union confederations, which include the traditionally militant FIOM labour body that has been extremely vocal with Fiat's business plan, are to meet new Prime Minister Mario Monti this afternoon (15 November) to discuss the country's economic challenges.

FIOM has been at the forefront of Italian trade unionism with some robust views on the future of the automotive sector, but today's meeting in Rome appears to be on a more conciliatory basis as the country wrestles with its enormous debt.

"This afternoon, he [Monti] will meet the three biggest confederations, CGIL [of which FIOM is part], CISL, UIL and Confindustria in Rome, [Italian business representatives] a FIOM spokesman told just-auto from Italy. "We have to wait for this meeting to have a first declaration from our confederation."

The FIOM spokesman added a further meeting would take place this Friday (18 November) at which the situation of southern Italy - in which the controversial Fiat Termini Imerese plant is located in Sicily - is bound to be discussed. The factory is due to be taken over by DR Motor.

"FIOM has said [Termini Imerese] production will be over [on] 23 November," said the FIOM spokesman. "That is to say the bargaining activity with DR is not yet concluded. How many workers will be involved in this new production activity, when will [it] start? The situation is still open."

FIOM said the Termini Imerese plant employed around 1,500 workers, but was unable to confirm how many employees would be taken on by DR Motor.

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