Fiat workers in Turin walked out on Friday for two hours to protest against the Italian car giant’s plans to shift some of its production to Serbia.
The decision means a new multi-purpose model will now not be produced in the northern Italian city. This is almost certain to mean job losses.
The move by Fiat bosses has sparked fury among workers.
One man at the factory said: ‘‘We earn around 1,000 euros a month. Serbia is ready to accept 400 euros per worker. So let’s ask Marchionne. Why, during the last 110 years, did you take money from Italy and the EU?’‘
Some ministers in Italy’s centre-right government also criticised the decision but called on unions and management to reach a compromise.
Italian Labour Minister Maurizio Sacconi, said: ‘‘I have called a meeting between unions and FIAT management for next Wednesday. I am quite confident that we will have a common vision over this issue.’‘
The carmaker has said it plans to double production in Italy by 2014. But it reportedly justified the latest move by arguing it did not want to take ‘unnecessary risks’ following months of fruitless negotiations with unions.