Fiat Workers Approve New Contract
Workers gather outside carmaker Fiat's factory in Italy after voting for a contract that limits strikes in exchange for keeping jobs and making new investments at home.
The company bought their support by pledging a 1 billion euro investment to build luxury Alfa Romeo and Chrysler models at Fiat's Mirafiori plant.
Laborers at the factory in Turin -- one of Fiat's five factories nationwide -- voted 54 percent in favor of the contract.
The agreement ends so-called wildcat strikes -- when laborers strike without union permission -- cuts down on breaks and curbs pay for those who take repeated sick leave around holidays.
A union spokesman said Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne - who had threatenened to invest outside Italy, if workers rejected the changes - must now deliver on his promise.
[Bruno Vitali, FIM Union Secretary General]:
"This is the first referendum won at Mirafiori in 15 years, and it's an important one. It was important to manage to make way for the industrial plan, and now (FIAT chief executive Sergio) Marchionne must quickly confirm his investment plan, as quick as he was in threatening to leave."
During the vote last week, others warned the new agreement would take away workers' power.
[Fiat Worker Talking to Other Workers]:
"You must explain the reason you voted yes, explain it! Don't hide behind the excuse of your family, because you will all become slaves, all slaves!"
Another factory has also agreed to the contract.
Like all of Fiat's Italian factories, Mirafiori is losing money -- the company's European sales fell 17 percent last year.
The carmaker hopes to keep its plants afloat by rolling out new models.