Minister chides Fiat over 18 workers kept home on salary

Fornero makes 'heartfelt appeal' for dialogue

Minister chides Fiat over 18 workers kept home on salary

Rome, February 5 - Labour Minister Elsa Fornero criticized Fiat Tuesday for its decision to order 18 workers, whose left-wing union has been locked in a bitter dispute with the automaker, to stay at home while on salary. Fornero launched a ''heartfelt appeal for dialogue'' while speaking on RAI radio. ''It is not decent to force workers to stay at home,'' added the minister. One day earlier, Fiat told the 18 workers to stay at home, adding that they would still receive their pay. Fiat did not take on any of its former workers belonging to the FIOM union when it set up a special subsidiary to run its Pomigliano d'Arco factory near Naples in 2010 after a dispute with the union over the flexible labour practices it wanted to implement there. However, Fiat has been ordered to put the 18 employees, plus another person who is currently on leave of absence for political activities, on the payroll after a Rome court ruled their exclusion amounted to unfair discrimination.

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