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IndustriAll Europe takes protest to FIAT’s door

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14 September, 2012IndustriALL Global Union’s sister organization, IndustriAll European Union, mobilized workers of the Italian auto giant FIAT in a 400-strong demonstration that blocked the company’s headquarters on 7 September. Demonstrators denounced the proposed restructuring of FIAT’s bus and truck maker IVECO that threatens over 1,000 jobs in Europe.

The IndustriAll Europe banner was flown in Turin by FIAT IVECO trade unionists from Spain, Poland, Austria, Germany, France and Italy. All unions present are also members of IndustriALL Global Union. FIAT IVECO’s restructuring process will bring five plant closures in France, Austria and Germany.

FIAT is refusing to discuss the restructuring plan with the European trade unions.

IVECO employees who make fire trucks burned a coffin effigy at the demo to protest against their site closing.

The three Italian trade unions representing FIAT IVECO workers differ in strategy in reacting to the proposed restructuring, with Fiom-CGIL present at the 7 September protest, and Fim-Cisl and Uilm-Uil withdrawing from participation one day before.

Fiom-CGIL motivated their protest against “the plan of Fiat Iveco to dismiss thousands of workers, close sites and resize the presence of Iveco, Iribus and Magirus in Europe” saying that “Fiat Industrial simply rejected every request for a meeting proposed by the European trade union”. Full statement is available at the link  http://www.fiom.cgil.it/stampa/2012/c_12_09_07.htm.

Fim-Cisl and Uilm-Uil came with a joint declaration saying that since the time of the call for the protest on June 28 different local agreements have been concluded, which “glossed over the main reason which gave rise to the debate within IndustriAll European Trade Union.”

IndustriAll Europe’s Deputy General Secretary Luc Triangle addressed the demo, asking FIAT IVECO to find “socially acceptable solutions,” to “open dialogue to present the group’s industrial programs and their motivations,” and to “set up a European works council as provided for by law”.

"This is the first protest of many to come aimed at Fiat offices in Europe."