Fiat reaches deal with unions in Italy image

Fiat SpA, Italy’s largest automaker on Tuesday said the automaker has signed a collective labor deal with their 86,000 Italian employees that increases shifts and shortens breaks in exchange for a 20-billion euro ($26 billion) investment plan.

Fiat signed the agreement with five metalworkers’ unions including Fim, Cisl and Uilm in its home town of Turin after two weeks of talks.

Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne called the deal “a historic development for our company and its workers.”

“Today’s result shows the major steps that can be taken when we work together and all work in the same direction and when there is a real shared intent,” Marchionne said in a statement.

The new contract provides us a modern instrument that reflects international standards for the industry and will enable both groups to operate more efficiently and create the conditions essential for continued investment in Italy.

It is also a demonstration of the will of the majority within society to say no to the professional critics, to roll up their sleeves and resolve the problems and, above all, do the work necessary to find the solutions.

The contract is an exception in Italy where labor agreements are generally set sector by sector, not company by company, or even plant by plant.

The one-year contract, which goes into effect in January, is part of Marchionne’s strategy of raising productivity at Turin, Italy-based Fiat’s domestic plants as he aims to end losses in Europe by 2014.