Fiat Auto Union Protests Signing of Ronaldo

Fiat, Juventus owned by same company — that can't pay raises to union.

by on Jul.13, 2018

Unione Sindicale di Base, the union representing workers at the Fiat plant in Melf, Italy, are protesting the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo.

(This story has been updated.)

The World Cup will be decided this weekend but Italian auto workers are threatening to go on strike at a Fiat plant in Southern Italy over the Agnelli family’s decision to pay the equivalent $117 million for the services one of soccer’s superstars.

The Italian club, Juventus, which is owned by Exor, the Agnelli family’s holding company which also owns Fiat, signed Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo to a contract, stealing him away from Real Madrid, the high-profile club for which he played for the past nine seasons.

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Exor own 29.1% of Fiat’s shares and 64% of Juventus, which like other major European football franchises has exploded in value during the past decade and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne also serves on Exor’s board.

Unione Sindicale di Base, the union representing workers at the Fiat plant in Melf, Italy, have released a statement, announced strike action would take place from the evening of July 15 until the morning of July 17.

(What’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles without Fiat or Chrysler. Click Here for the story.)

“It is unacceptable that, while for years you have continued to ask Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Case and New Holland Industrial workers to make enormous sacrifices on an economic level, the company spends hundreds of millions of euros on the purchase of a footballer,” the union’s statement read. Case New Holland is also partially owned by Exor.

FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne is also on the board at Exor, which owns Juventus.

“We are told that times are tough and that we must resort to social safety nets in anticipation of the launch of new models which never arrive.

“And, while the workers and their families tighten up the belts more and more the company decides to invest on a human resource for so much money. Is all of this right? Is it right that one single person can earn millions and yet thousands of families don’t even get to the middle of the month?” the statement said.

(Click Here for more on FCA’s electrification plans.)

The decision to acquire Ronaldo’s services appears to have pleased Juventus fans, there is also considerable concern over the Fiat’s future across Italy and the union noted that money spent on football means that there is less money to investment in the automobile business.

“We are all dependent on the same master but never as in this moment of enormous social difficulty this unequal treatment cannot and should not be accepted,” the union said. “The property should invest in car models that guarantee the future of thousands of people rather than enriching only one,” the union said.

As the strike deadline passed, FCA said the walkout called by the union appeared to fizzle.

(FCA will offer fully hands-free luxury models by 2023. Click Here for more.)

No employees from FCA’s Pomigliano plant or Nola Distribution Center took part in the strike called for this morning in connection with football-related protests held in front of the Pomigliano plant in recent days. This is clear demonstration of the self-serving nature of the protest and of the fact that workers from the Pomigliano plant understand this perfectly, whereas others who sought to give it credence have not.

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