Saturday, 15 January 2011

Ciao Bella

The Mirafiori FIAT workers voted almost in their entirety - and split 54% Yes to Marchionne's plans, 46% No.

Which won't do at all.

What industrialist would invest in a 20 billion euro renewal plan, an integral part of an international restructuring project, with almost half the workforce in the main plant refusing the terms and conditions of their engagement?  It was not always so.

FIAT Chrysler is not in business to reform the industrial relations and sociopolitical mindset of the Italian blue collar workforce.   The offer was 'Join us", not 'Assist us in installing correct power relations between capital and labour'.

Perhaps a works outing to Longbridge might have been worthwhile.


It was almost noon before any reaction from Sergio Marchionne to the narrow win for the Yes group of trades unions.  And his response was very low key.  The Mirafiori workers:

'have shown faith in themselves and in their future.' ['hanno dimostrato di avere fiducia in se stessi e nel loro futuro' ].  The word courage also crossed his lips (there has been considerable pressure on the Mirafiori workers to vote No, the last act on the declaration of the results of the ballot was the burning of the flags and banners of the Yes Trades Unions on a pyre before the gates of the Mirafiori works).  It is  others who have been talking up a great victory, a vote for modernity, a vote for investment and jobs. 

With the exception, of course, of the FIOM leaders and the CGIL who have declared a great victory (even if a few votes short of a majority) and a defeat of  authoritarian  industrial relations and the factory as barracks (this last gem from the leader of the CGIL - the confederation of Italian workers).

Marchionne reacted very poorly to an above 60% Yes vote in factories in the South.  This majority is even less adequate. 


Odin's Raven said...

Just show them a TopGear rerun of Clarkson playing around the urban desert that used to be a car factory.

hatfield girl said...

A rerun of some of those mass show of hands votes in Birmingham that ended car production there is salutary too, Raven. Trade union leadership is so third rate. Another lions led by donkeys.

Caronte said...

Apparently the majority of blue-collar workers voted against the agreement, while the 450 white-collar, including middle management, voted YES almost unanimously, tipping the final result in favor of it. Marchionne suceeded in splitting the Democratic Party, the Unions, FIAT employees workers, blue/white-collar workers. Quite a few fences need mending.

Now they can all claim victory. Marchionne got what he wanted, "over 51%" YES. Investment and employment - if he will deliver - are safe. FIOM expected at most 30 per cent NO-votes, their credibility and negotiating power are strengthened. The ineptitude of both government and opposition have been confirmed.

But let's not call Marchionne a moderniser, or a globaliser. He is a managerial throw-back from the 1950s.