Trade union leaders and representatives from Italy, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela and Turkey representing employees of Italian-based tire-maker Pirelli formed a global union network through a meeting in Milan, Italy on 17-18 September 2015.
The network was established as part of IndustriALL Global Union’s action programme in the rubber industry to reinforce union networks, particularly after recent restructuring and changes to the ownership structure at Pirelli.
In 2014, Pirelli sold all its steel cord activities to the Belgian-based multinational Bekaert. Recently ChemChina's tender offer received approval from authorities following the acquisition of about 30 per cent of Pirelli shares in two deals.
The China National Chemical Corporation (ChemChina) is a state-owned enterprise established by reorganizing the subsidiary companies. It is the largest enterprise in China’s chemical industry, ranking 265th among the Fortune 500 companies. It employs around 140.000 people in more than 100 production and operation enterprises, research institutes and design academies.
As one of the oldest tire-makers founded in 1872, Pirelli is present in 13 countries with 19 plants with production of car, motorcycle, truck, bus and agricultural tyres.
The participants of the Milan meeting strongly voiced their concerns over these important changes, particularly on the future of employment and labour relations in the subsidiaries of Pirelli throughout the world.
The meeting analyzed global trends in the overall tyre industry and outlined the economic situation, investments, and employment at Pirelli plants worldwide. Union representatives provided detailed information about particular situations in individual countries. It was decided to continue to exchange such information in a structured way. As result, it was agreed to install and strengthen effective communication through a network.
The participants underlined the importance of interaction and dialogue with the company management, and the right to information and consultation were given special emphasis, particularly at the time of such substantial change.
“Our affiliates have long-standing mature relations with Pirelli, and it is legitimate of IndustriALL and its affiliates from the company management to develop global level labour relations,” said Kemal Özkan, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union. “This network of Pirelli unions will be an important structure for implementing the action plan agreed in the meeting”.