is discussing closing one of its plants in Italy and reducing
operations at another, German unions have told their Italian
counterparts, an official of Italy's FIM-CISL union told Reuters on
We are very worried because, according to the Germans, Fiat is
talking about downsizing Pomigliano (plant) and about the schedule for
closing Termini Imerese, Bruno Vitali said.
He was speaking after a meeting in Frankfurt with German unions as Fiat seeks to merge its operations in Europe with GM's (GM.N) Opel unit.
Italian unions have said that Fiat's ambitious plan to create the
world's second-biggest car maker is positive even though they are
concerned about plant closures and job losses.
They have called for a meeting with the Italian government and the
company. Industry Minister Claudio Scajola said he would meet all the
parties at the right moment, adding he was in continuous contact with
German unions, who have previously expressed willingness to dig into
their own pockets to help Opel, fear they will bear the brunt of plant
closures and job losses. Some have come out in favor of a rival bid by
Magna International Inc (MGa.TO), an Austrian-Canadian car parts maker.
Fiat has already agreed to take a 20 percent stake in U.S. car maker
Chrysler LLC CBS.UL alongside U.S. unions which will have a 55 percent
stake in the combined group.
The Italian car maker would bring its expertise in building smaller,
more environmentally-friendly cars to the deal with Chrysler -- but
these vehicles would clearly overlap with Opel models in Europe.
Fiat's share of the market in the 15 main European countries in
April is likely to be 9.9 percent, according to figures released on
Wednesday by forecaster Global Insight, up from 9.2 percent in March.