Fiat Workers To Vote On Their Fate
Workers at Fiat's major Mirafiori car factory were slated to start voting late Thursday in a referendum that will decide their fate.
Fiat's boss says he is willing to invest one billion Euros in the plant -- but will take the investment abroad if 51 percent of voters reject a planned labor contract involving more shifts and fewer benefits.
The labor deal has met fierce resistance from a major leftist union, which claims Fiat is neglecting constitutional rights in favor of profits.
It is a bittersweet pill to swallow for workers in a country already facing the pressure of a European downturn and the possibility of less jobs and higher prices.
[Paolo Flotti, Fiat Worker]:
"For me, I don't care how it ends, says this worker, I can always find something to eat."
[Rosario Ballocci, Fiat Worker]:
“This employee says it doesn't matter whether it's a yes or no vote -- he says there simply isn't enough work to go around.”
Analysts say between 70 and 80,000 people will be affected if the plant closes.
Around 5,500 Mirafiori workers are expected to begin voting at the start of Thursday's night shift, and will continue through Friday.