Fiat must reinstate fired workers, court rules
Automaker to appeal to Supreme Court23 February, 17:52
(ANSA) - Potenza, February 23 - An appeals court in Potenza ordered Italian automaker Fiat on Thursday to reinstate three employees fired in 2010 for allegedly preventing non-striking workers from doing their jobs at Melfi in Southern Italy.
"Fiat considers their conduct unacceptable," the company said, vowing to appeal to the Supreme Court. "We will continue our efforts to prevent the recurrence of such conduct". The three men involved, Giovanni Barozzino, Antonio Lamorte and Marco Pignatelli, are representatives of the FIOM union, which has resisted Fiat's campaign to revamp working practices in Italy to boost productivity.
Fiat had said the men could only be on its premises if they stayed in a room away from the production lines and limited their activities to union business.
The trio, whose salaries were being paid during the dispute, refused, saying they wanted to ''earn our bread like every family man does and not be paid for not working''.
They were fired after they allegedly blocked a robot arm supplying production lines, forcing 1,750 Melfi workers to down tools.
The incident came during a strike by 50 workers against planned cutbacks and longer hours.
Fiat denies union claims it has violated Italian labour law. photo: FIOM supporters