Talks in Italy over fired Fiat autoworkers break down

Unions negotiating terms of 19 workers to be rehired

Talks in Italy over fired Fiat autoworkers break down

Naples, January 14 - Talks between unions and a Fiat subsidiary over the fates of 19 workers caught in a bitter dispute at a Pomigliano factory ended Monday without agreement. The talks, which lasted just over 30 minutes, involved a group of 19 autoworkers who the courts have said the company must reinstate. In retaliation, the company has said it may fire another 19 workers to make room for the others. The factory, Fiat's largest in southern Italy, has been the scene of a long-running labour dispute. Late last year, a Rome court ordered Fiat to hire the workers, each members of the FIOM labour union, after they successfully sued for unfair discrimination at the Pomigliano plant. Fiat did not take on any FIOM members when it set up a new corporate entity to run the Pomigliano factory in 2010 after a dispute with the union over policies the company wanted to implement. Fiat, Italy's largest private employer and biggest industrial company, has been going through a period of tumultuous labour relations as it tries to restructure its operations in Italy, its largest market. The Pomigliano plant is where the company builds the newest version of its Panda sub-compact, which was previously produced in Poland.

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