Fiat announced that CEO Sergio Marchionne is being investigated over allegations of violation of labor rights in Italy.
Friday, March 29th, the public prosecutor of Nola Marchionne and another group manager notified Marchionne and another group manager about a preliminary investigation regarding a long-running dispute at a plant near Naples.
Fiat said the prosecutor’s move was “the umpteenth expression of an unprecedented judiciary offensive directed by (trade union) FIOM against Fiat, for more than two years”.
The dispute sparked in October when a Rome appeals court ruled that the Italian automaker has to take back 19 employees, who were previously laid off, members of FIOM, that have filed a complaint alleging discrimination. Fiat denied any wrongdoing and in February it announced the dispute at the plant has been dealt with, but still has to face criticism from the labor unions and politicians for trying to lay off workers in a country hit by recession.
On another matter, anonymous sources said that Marchionne looks for a $2.5 billion credit line to buy the rest of Chrysler’s stake. Fiat and Chrysler CEO wants to refinance in April the revolving credit line which expires in 2014, said the sources. Marchionne plans to buy as soon as possible the rest of the 41.5% stake in Chrysler currently owned by the UAW’s medical benefits trust and merge the two automakers to create a single global car maker.