Economy

Partial shutdown for Melfi FIAT plant

Italian police cars produced in Melfi.

Italian police cars produced in Melfi.

Italian car maker FIAT will reduce production in the Melfi plant, trade unions announced yesterday.

The plant will not close, but workers will be put on forced leave on a rotation basis, receiving a reduced salary paid by the Italian Government.

By Italian law, similar schemes must be temporary, and FIAT duly assured that the partial shutdown will last only for the time necessary to modernize the plant and install new machinery in order to start some new production lines.

The trade unions are worried for the vagueness of the FIAT management plans, however. There are widespread fears in Italy that the historical car maker is becoming less and less Italian, focusing instead on the North American and Latin American markets.

Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi commented: ‘These are bad news, but the car market is struggling in Europe and even more in Italy. FIAT must plan her future, produce new cars of a European level, and it pledged to respect its commitments towards Italy. The Government must enforce those commitments’.

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