Today is the crucial vote by 5400 Fiat workers at the Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, and the results are expected to be in by late tonight. If the workers approve the deal, which involves accepting longer hours, decreased benefits, and limiting their right to strike, then the plan to invest $1.3 billion in the outdated plant will go forward. If not, the workers risk losing their jobs as CEO Marchionne had threatened to close the plant and build cars outside of Italy. In an already economically depressed economy with high unemployment, Italians will be all ears for the results of tonight’s vote.
If you are interested in more in depth information, you can read my article in the January issue of La Gazzetta Italiana.
In regards to Italy’s depressed economy: Did you hear about the new bed tax in Rome? It is two Euros per night in “regular” hotels and three Euros per night in luxury hotels. The question is if the so-called “Obolus for Romulus” will really bring more money into the city’s coffers or if it will deter tourists from staying in Rome.