By on March 24, 2012

Unions in the U.S. are happy with Chrysler’s resurgence. Meanwhile in Italy, unions are being blamed for the woes of Chrysler’s parent.

Fiat announced yesterday that it will again temporarily suspend production at two plants in Italy. Fiat blames the stoppage on a strike by Italian car haulers.  According to the Wall Street Journal, the trucker strike “has gone on for about five weeks and in some cases turned violent.”

The national hauler association ANITA (Associazione Nazionale Imprese Trasporti Automobilistici), blames a small minority group of drivers who transport new cars to dealerships from Fiat and other manufacturers located outside Italy. The small group already set fire to a car hauler in Cassino, a town where Fiat has a plant.  If that small group can get Fiat in trouble, wait until restive Fiat workers strike against Marchionne’s capacity reductions plans.

Fiat will shut production at the Cassino plant on March 27-29 and at its Pomigliano plant, where the new Panda is being produced, on March 26-27.

Fiat figures it will lose about 10 percent of its market share in Italy and abroad this month. Fiat already lost market share in Italy and Europe. Some of the strike action might be a welcome cover.


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6 Comments on “(Welcome?) Strikes Paralyze Fiat...”

  • avatar

    It’s a shame really. The strike is about fuel taxation, but the truckers efforts are hurting everyone but the government. It’s the typical union “scorched earth” way of dealing with problems…damage everything (including their own way of life) in order to make a point…what a disaster. I don’t blame Fiat at all if they finally shutter all plant doors in Italy.

    • 0 avatar

      I read somewhere that the Fiat workers are envious of the UAW and its part-ownership stake in the Chrysler subdivision. I think most have figured out that Fiat without Chrysler as a moneymaking subdivision of Fiat is a bankrupt Fiat.

      It could very well turn out that by the end of this year the Chrysler subdivision of Fiat will be its only cash cow and that its profits will actually be the funds that keep Fiat solvent.

      The UAW had a similar ‘scorched earth’ way of dealing with problems, as we can all recall, and that led to the bankruptures at GM and Chrysler.

      Were that to happen to Fiat in today’s Italy, it is highly doubtful that the current Italian government has the will or the means to bail out a bankrupt Fiat.

      But the US government does, and the US government will finagle some way to bail out Fiat to keep Chrysler working, all at US tax payers expense of course.

      The bail out precedent has been set, a bribe followed to get Fiat to take bankrupt Chrysler off our hands. Obama and the Democrats will go to any lengths to keep Chrysler going for the sake of the UAW. Even bail out a bankrupt Fiat.

      • 0 avatar

        highdesert, I think the irony is amazing. To save Chrysler, the US govt bribes Fiat to take them over but Chrysler is now what is saving Fiat. Two turkeys tied together aren’t gonna fly. If the Govt had done their due diligence, they would have sold Chrysler to Ford and infused some welcome capital into Ford which was also struggling at that time. Ford would have been a better fit, not to mention access to great small car platforms and 4 Cyl engines where Chrysler is lacking. Ford is in a much better financial standing now and wouldn’t be dragging Chrysler down unlike Fiat currently is. Also, Chrysler would have remained an American company.

      • 0 avatar

        Agree with everything you posted!

        I own a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee I bought for my wife a few months back and it remains to be seen if it is as good as her 2008 Highlander is.

        So I feel I did my part in helping Chrysler and the UAW, by buying one of their products even if Chrysler is now a foreign-owned company. Hey, it’s still Americans making cars in America for Americans. Right? Just like Toyota, Honda, et al.

        And to use Chrysler as an example, because of its success under foreign management, that is exactly the reason I believe that we, the people, would have been better served had GM been pimped to China or anyone who could afford to take it, even with a healthy bribe, just so we would not be stuck with that turkey.

        BTW, I thought that the Chrysler-Ford and Chrysler-GM alliances were considered but neither would touch Chrysler with a ten-foot pole.

      • 0 avatar

        You two sure don’t like to confuse facts with your opinions, do you? The fact is that Ford received $6.9 BILLION dollars in low cost federal DOE loans that NEITHER Chrysler nor GM received. Chrysler received high cost (up to 20%) loans, NOT a bailout, and has subsequently repaid the LOAN it received. Ford has not, GM is still substantially owned by the U.S and Canadian govts. The fact is that saving Chrysler has been a good thing for both the U.S. economy and Fiat, so everybody wins. How bout you stop with the woulda, coulda, shouda?

  • avatar

    It is interesting to know if Mafia is behind unions in Italy and if they use unions to extort payments from companies. In US and Japan it happens (see what happened to Olympus or watch Sopranos e.g.)

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