Italy’s largest manufacturer Fiat has quit the country’s top business group, Confindustria.
The head of the carmaking and industrial group, Sergio Marchionne explained that is because negotiating through Confindustria on a collective basis with trade unions is putting it at a competitive disadvantage internationally.
Marchionne wrote to Confindustria that “Fiat… can’t afford to operate in Italy in an environment of uncertainty that is so incongruous with the conditions that exist elsewhere in the industrialised world.”
With turnover this year of 9.7 billion euros, and 63,000 workers in 44 plants in Italy, Fiat is the country’s biggest private employer.
Fiat’s withdrawal is a major blow to Confindustria and could mean the end of collective bargaining by Italian businesses with unions.
Marchionne, who also runs Chrysler, has promised 20 billion euros of planned investments in Italy’ but he has made that conditional on unions giving full backing to the new labour contracts introduced at three of Fiat’s plants in the country.