Plans continue to cut 107 IKEA jobs in Piacenza

Demonstrators challenge police in fight for jobs

Plans continue to cut 107 IKEA jobs in Piacenza

Piacenza, November 7 - A contractor working for Swedish giant IKEA said Wednesday that it is going ahead with plans to cut 107 warehouse jobs in Piacenza, despite sometimes violent protests by workers. Although further protests were planned for late Wednesday, CGS, a consortium that manages warehouse work on behalf of IKEA, said the jobs will be cut on Thursday. A contract dispute between the consortium and the cargo workers, mostly Egyptian nationals who say the employer is not abiding by contract conditions, has been blamed for the job losses. "The direct and immediate consequence is that 107 employees...will be forced to give up their jobs," said Francescso Milza, a spokesman for the consortium. "For our part, we thank those who tried to find a solution". Last Friday, protesters clashed with police outside the Piacenza warehouse when they tried to block other employees from crossing their picket line to go to work. At least 12 people were taken to hospital with injuries. The cargo workers, represented by the Cobas trade union, are not employed by the Swedish furniture giant directly but by the consortium working on IKEA's behalf. Piacenza Mayor Paolo Dosi, the city counsellor responsible for labour, Luigi Rabuffi, and the Egyptian consul to Italy had tried to mediate in the dispute.

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