Fiat has complied with a ruling of an appeals court in Rome compelling the carmaker to re-hire 19 workers at its Pomigliano plant in Italy. The appeals court ruled on Oct. 19, 2012, that Fiat must reinstate 19 employees who were members of the FIOM union and had filed a complaint on alleged discrimination.
The carmaker said on Oct. 31, 2012 that it would comply with the court decision and would lay off the 19 workers as a result of the decision, saying that dwindling vehicle demand in Italy and across Europe means that the workforce at the Pomigliano was oversized. Fiat, however, did not disclose Tuesday whether it had proceeded with the 19 layoffs it said were needed to match its workforce with market demand.
The carmaker reiterated that the staff levels at the Pomigliano plant were "above levels necessary.” The Pomigliano plant is currently idled due to weak demand in Italy and Europe. Fiat has sent workers home from several of plants in Italy on temporary layoffs this year.
The carmaker’s plants in the country are currently operating at 50 percent capacity as it struggles against excessive capacity and falling demand in Europe, which accounts for majority of its sales. To date, the vehicle market in Western Europe has contracted by 7.3 percent, according to data from industry group ACEA. Hardest hit were Greece, Portugal and Italy.