According to a union official, the carmaker has decided to stop production at its Pomigliano assembly facility in southern Italy for the October 16 to 27 period.

The temporary production suspension has been triggered by falling demand in the European region for the model produced there, the subcompact Panda. Giuseppe Terracciano, secretary general for the Fim-Cisl union in Naples said the union representatives and the company executives met and discussed the need to temporary layoff the employees for the period. The Italian automaker has used the measure in numerous occasions, relying on the state-backed schemes to cater for times when the factories needed to be idled.

The closure and layoff is “necessary because of the slowdown in the market in view of the end of the year,” commented Terracciano.

The Pomigliano factory already has around 1,950 of the total 4,500 workforce on so-called solidarity contracts, with employees starting March agreeing to work fewer hours (and get paid less) if they are not fired.

Although Fiat’s Italian plants have struggled with overcapacity since the advent of the financial crisis six years ago, the company’s ambitious five-year business plan calls for all workers to be reinstated as the group aims to increase worldwide sales by 60% before 2018.

Via Reuters


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