Italy is ready to start again. After the lockdown that forced the closure of many Companies, the so-called “phase 2” is coming, which will allow the reopening of plants and offices, under a rigid protocol defined by the Government. The recovery of the production circle has already started in Europe and soon it will be Italy’s turn.
The automotive industry, which can count on its size to ensure the implementation of all the safety and physical distancing measures required to get workers back to work, will probably be the forerunner in Italy at the so-called Phase 2.
The automotive industry is strategic in Italy as well as in Europe, both from an industrial and a commercial point of view. It is sufficient to say that today the sector employs in Italy about 250 thousand workers (165 in the direct supply chain and the remaining ones in related sectors, from spare parts dealers to repairers to accessories).
However, there will be not be a 100% reopening: the big names in the sector (cars and components) have indeed applied strong limitations. From the number of workers returning to the factories, to shorter and staggered shifts, the factories will not be fully operational.
What are FCA and MAGNETI MARELLI doing?
The official reopening of the FCA plants in Italy is expected to take place on May 4th, excluding further Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s Decrees. According to the inter-regional secretary of Fiom-CGIL of Abruzzo and Molise, Alfredo Fegatelli, the reopening could also take place before May 4th but a specific project for worker safety, which to be put in place by the Abruzzo and Molise Regions, will be fundamental. A partial reopening in Melfi took place on April 14, for a small portion of employees (one hundred out of about seven thousand). A similar situation occurs for the Sevel di Val di Sangro, where light commercial vehicles of Fiat, Citroën and Peugeot are produced and where, out of about 12,000 workers, around 60% go to the factory by public transport. In such cases, it is therefore necessary, in order to reopen the factories, to strengthen local public transport so that workers can go to work without risking contagion.Meanwhile, on April 15, Magneti Marelli signed an agreement with the unions to ensure protections for all employees, so as to allow the progressive resumption of activities in all Italian plants. The president of Marelli Europe, Ermanno Ferrari, said: “Enabling all our employees to return to the workplace as safely as possible was our primary objective and, thanks to the fruitful collaboration with unions both nationally and at a local level, we have been able to define together the best possible solutions for the protection of workers and to start quickly, as soon as the Government gives the green light to the resumption of activities in Italy. The health and well-being of employees are of great value for our Company and are the necessary and essential condition for enabling any operational recovery and guaranteeing business continuity in the service and the support of our customers“. (gazzetta.it)