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Fiat Chrysler Gives Assurance On Jobs And Continued Italian Investment To Unions

Fiat Chrysler Gives Assurance On Jobs And Continued Italian Investment To Unions
An investment plan of 5 billion euro ($5.54 billion) in Italy along with assurances for job security has been given by the Italian carmaker Fiat Chrysler after its merger with the French rival PSA, said the workers’ union at Fiat following a meeting with the management of the company.
The two auto groups had announced earlier this week that they have entered into a binding agreement about the merger which is valued at approximately $50 billion, resulting in the creation of the fourth largest car maker of the world. The meeting with the union and Fiat took place at Fiat Chrysler’s Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy.
“They assured us that all 400,000 employees of the new group would be guaranteed. There will not be redundancies,” said Rocco Palombella, head of the UILM metalworkers union.
While claiming that the merger of the two auto faints would help in making savings of 3.7 billion euros, both the companies have at the same time assured that there would be no job losses or closure of any factories.
While welcoming the merger, both the French and Italian governments have said that they also want protection of jobs.
“Not shutting down plants does not mean guaranteeing job levels”, said Francesca Re David, leader of the FIOM-CGIL labor group, which is one of the most influential union bodies representing the workers of the company.
The Fiat management has assured that all group employees would be got off special furlough arrangements and back to work by 2022 in addition to ensuring that there would not be any lob losses, labor group representatives said after the meeting.
The company has also promised to make an investment of a 5 billion euro Italy by 2021 and the majority of that investment would be made next year.
“What we gathered was that absolutely nothing will happen for a year but in 2021 decisions will be taken on platforms, motors and technology,” Palombella said.
However a demand that the new merged company should come out with new models to make sure that workers are taken out of the so-called “cassa integrazione” wage guarantee fund for furloughed employees was made by Re David, whose union has taken a harder line than the other labor groups.
“Industrial plans have never been respected in the past. We have a lot of worries. The announcements on new models are positive, but we’ll be vigilant about the implementation of the plan,” she said.
Selection of representative of the workers at the board of the combined group would be decided on the basis of an agreement between the unions, said Marco Bentivogli, head of the Fim-Cisl union. “It will have to be a representative authorized to represent the interests of the workforce and not chosen by the company,” he said.
The 11-member board of the combined company will have two workers’ representatives – one from the Italian unions and one form the French unions according to the merger deal.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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