Fiat Chrysler workers strike over £99m Ronaldo football signing

by sam sheehan, Autocar UK 13 Jul 2018

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) workers have announced that they will strike against the signing of footballer Cristiano Ronaldo for Juventus Football Club, which is supported by Exor, the same investor as the car maker.

The USB union said that the £99 million (Rs 892 crore) required to sign the 33-year-old player to Juventus should have been invested to safeguard the future of Fiat’s future of thousands of people, 'rather than enriching only one'.

Autocar UK is awaiting official comment from FCA to confirm whether the strike, which is scheduled to take place from 10 pm Sunday to 6 pm Tuesday at FCA’s Melfi plant in southern Italy, will impact delivery times for the models that are made there, the Punto and 500X.

At this stage, it isn’t expected to have a major impact because Melfi is just one of seven sites used by FCA and USB only represents a small number of employees there.

However, the union’s outburst has included some damning statements. It said FCA workers were making "huge economic sacrifices" in the face of cutbacks that have been rolled out under the leadership of FCA boss Sergio Marchionne.

Marchionne has almost cancelled the company’s debt with his aggressive saving tactics, which recently saw him announce a range shake-up to focus on only the most profitable models, the biggest selling of which are the 500 and Panda.

FCA’s changes shrunk its debt in the first quarter of this year to €1.3 billion (£1.15bn) (Rs 10,367 crore) when operating profit rose by 5% to €1.6bn (£1.4bn) (Rs 12,759 crore).

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