Union members in Rome rejoiced as its labor court has ordered Fiat to hire 145 unionized workers. The conflict between Fiat and the union arose when the automaker asked workers last year for more flexible working conditions in order to cut absenteeism and increase productivity. According to the Fiom-CGIL union, Fiat violated an Italian law that bans discrimination against union members.
It also said that Fiat had excluded many of its members from new hirings at its factory in Pomigliano, near Naples, which employs about 2,100 workers who make the Panda minicar. The union went up against the plan and rejected a new contract with Fiat that included the reforms. The union asserted that its members hold the right to be represented at Fiat’s plants and so it filed 61 suits in 20 courts throughout Italy.
Several courts have favored Fiat while others ruled in Fiom-CGIL’s favor. Last April, a Turin labor court scrapped 21 appeals from Fiom, concluding that the union didn’t have a right to representation.
Fiat, which has about 86,000 workers in Italy, is reducing its capital expenditures in Europe by half a billion euros in 2012 due to an extended market slump in the region as the result of persistent national debt problems and its own overcapacity. ACEA said that in the first five months, Fiat Group sales fell by 16.6% to 375,795 in the EU and EFTA countries while the total European market had a 7.3% decline.
The latest iteration of the Fiat Panda is a result of a 31-year evolution of a car known to be versatile, easy to use and likeable. It is as rich in history as the Fiat brand itself, with over 6.4 million units produced. It has also earned the respect of more than 16 million drivers around the world from different backgrounds, preferences and even age.
Fiat Panda is a true best-seller that has contributed much to the brand’s overwhelming success in this segment, as underpinned by the popularity of such models through years. In fact, Fiat has been regarded as a reference by other carmakers in Europe when creating new city cars, simply because the Italian company boasts of unmatched expertise in developing this type of car.
Now, the third generation of the Fiat Panda builds on its rich history and heritage. Combining the best elements of the first- and second-generation Panda, the third-gen city car boasts of more space, greater comfort, improved functionality, better technology and higher levels of safety. Fiat has created the third-gen Panda to cater to motorists who want the practical handling of a city car but need the space and comfort of a five-door compact car.
Moreover, the new Fiat Panda dons a modern and harmonious look that has evolved but remains recognizable as a true Fiat, boasting a design that exudes Italian creativity, like that of the Fiat 500, Vespa Piaggio, Cubo by Bruno Munari and Moka Bialetti. The new Fiat Panda is a unique product that combines great looks with excellent engineering, thus becoming a groundbreaking alchemy of design and concept.