March 14, 2005

Fiat workers go on strike

Rome, Italy – Thousands of Fiat SpA workers who fear for their jobs at the struggling Italian automaker went on strike Friday and held demonstrations in Rome.

The eight-hour strike was called at Fiat plants across the country, while the Italian news agency Apcom reported that as many as 10,000 people protested in Rome, disrupting traffic in the capital’s centre.

Fiat SpA is trying to restore itself to financial health after years of crisis, depending on a turnaround plan which includes focusing on the core automaking group. The company says its plan does not involve plant closures, but the firm regularly uses temporary layoffs to cut production at its plants when demand decreases. Workers protested the policy, fearing that it might eventually lead to job losses.

Workers also demanded that Fiat invest more in technology to develop more models and increase its market share to further guarantee job security.

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