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Govt summons Electrolux for talks over shock wage-cut plan

Appliance-maker says move needed to keep Italian plants open

28 January, 13:40
Govt summons Electrolux for talks over shock wage-cut plan (ANSA) - Trieste, January 28 - The government on Tuesday summoned Electrolux managers for emergency talks after the electrical-appliance multinational announced a shock wage-cut plan it said was necessary to keep its Italian plants running.

Trade union representatives and the governors of the regions that host Electrolux plants (Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna) will also attend the meeting at the industry ministry at 3pm local time Wednesday.

Electrolux said Tuesday that it was proposing cutting wages in Italy by three euros an hour, which it said was an 8% cut and would amount to a reduction of less than 130 euros a month in workers' net salaries.

The company said it had also proposed freezing salary increases due to seniority and other rises linked to the sector's national collective contract for three years in order to "cool the inflation of labour costs, which is responsible for the continuing growth in the competitive gap with the countries of Eastern Europe".

Electrolux added that it was willing to consider "other forms of reducing labour costs with lower or, if possible, no consequences on salaries". Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato, who is set to chair Wednesday's talks, replied "certainly" on Italian radio Tuesday when asked if a solution was possible.