Fiat workers plan strike over job conditions

Italy's metal-workers' union FIOM agreed Saturday to call a strike in Fiat factories across the country on October 21 to protest threats to their job contracts.

Public services employees and students march during the demonstration of general strike organised by the left-wing General Confederation of Italian Workers (CGIL) against the government's economic measures policy in central Rome on October 8, 2011.

The eight-hour strike will also affect subsidiaries and be coupled with a national demonstration in Rome, FIOM chief Giorgio Airaudo, citing various developments at Fiat that had angered workers.

Italy's biggest company announced Monday it would be leaving the Italian employers' federation Confindustria in order not to be bound by collective bargaining agreements.

Fiat has signed new contracts with workers at some plants, including Pomigliano, Mirafiori and Grugliasco despite union opposition, toughening work conditions in return for investment.

Company boss Sergio Marchionne wants to totally change negotiating procedure to make job contracts more flexible for the 82,000 employees in Italy.

Workers have also gone on strike at the Italian auto giant's Termini Imerese plant in Sicily which is due to be shut by the end of the year, asking for guarantees on jobs from the company that is buying the factory.

Fiat's decision to shut the plant as it expands abroad sparked anger among its 1,500 employees and 700 subcontractors and mobilised trade union action in 2009 and 2010.

The site is due to be taken over by Italian auto company Dr Motor, which has said it will invest 110 million euros ($146 million) and employ 1,312 people by 2016.

Dr Motor has said it plans to produce 60,000 vehicles at Termini Imerese by 2017.


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