Fiat’s factory in Turin sees protests due to investment plans in Italy

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 24, 2011

A one-day strike at Fiat S.p.A.’s factory in Turin, Italy, took place to protest the automaker’s investment plans in Italy. Fiom Cgil, the automaker's biggest union, had initiated the strike. Caterina Gurzi, an assembly line worker, joined the strike because Fiat’s actions had left its workers with “an uncertain and precarious future."

Gurzi’s salary was cut after a temporary layoff. Europe is struggling under a debt crisis that has resulted to a very low unemployment rate wherein a third of those from 15 to 24 years old don’t have jobs.

Last Oct. 15, there was a rally in Rome (part of the Occupy Wall Street protests) that resulted to over 100 injuries and 5 million euros ($7 million) in damages.

Labor organizers are worried that CEO Sergio Marchionne will transfer production outside of Italy, even after it had secured concessions from workers, amid the drop in domestic sales and even as labor costs continue to be three times higher than in Poland. Marchionne said that the employees raise this risk by going on the strike.

The new Fiat 500, an embodiment of the 'new Fiat' that represents the epitome of a new approach and new brand strategies. Around half a century after Fiat introduced the first 500 model, the Italian carmaker is taking new strides to further its already iconic history. Indeed, the Fiat 500 is one of the post-war creations from Italy that are not only beautiful and elegant but also serve to embody excellent engineering with a functional form.

Most importantly, icons like the Fiat 500 are considered as powerful catalysts, thanks to their revolutionary design and concept that became reference points and benchmarks for future products.

Thus, these industrial objects, including the Fiat 500, have become masterpieces that are an essential part of industrial history. Likewise, the Fiat 500 has become an important part of the lives of several owners, fans and enthusiasts who have paraded the car as a reliable and economical vehicle that conveys a carefree spirit and worry-free drive.

Moreover, the Fiat 500 has become an important witness and connection to good memories and strong friendships, as well as first loves. Because of its role as an object that evokes images of a positive past that people would like to rekindle, the Fiat 500 has been considered as an important icon of the past.

More than a decade after the second World War on July 4, 1957, Dante Giacosa's Fiat 500 was finally launched, signaling the upcoming end of a period of radical renewal of Fiat’s product range and the birth of a new cycle of successes in the next decade.

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