Whirlpool reaches deal with unions to save jobs in Italy

(AGI) Rome, July 2 - The world's largest home-appliance makerWhirlpool has reached a preliminary deal with Italian tradeunions not to lay off staff or close down plants in thecountry. An agreement was signed at the Ministry of EconomicDevelopment on Thursday. The news was announced by unionrepresentatives who expressed great satisfaction. Thegovernment was pleased as well: "We had promised the workers ofWhirlpool: No closing, no layoffs," Italian Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi posted on Twitter. "An important agreement wassigned that ends two months of struggle," explained MarcoBentivogli of the FIM-CISL union. "The new

(AGI) Rome, July 2 - The world's largest home-appliance makerWhirlpool has reached a preliminary deal with Italian tradeunions not to lay off staff or close down plants in thecountry. An agreement was signed at the Ministry of EconomicDevelopment on Thursday. The news was announced by unionrepresentatives who expressed great satisfaction. Thegovernment was pleased as well: "We had promised the workers ofWhirlpool: No closing, no layoffs," Italian Prime MinisterMatteo Renzi posted on Twitter. "An important agreement wassigned that ends two months of struggle," explained MarcoBentivogli of the FIM-CISL union. "The new business plan is aplan for real recovery." The signing of the framework agreementwill be followed by local agreements on social welfare and onguarantees regarding the 2015-18 business plan. A new round ofconsultations with the unions will start by October. TheSecretary-General of the UILM union confederation, RoccoPalombella, said there will be no layoffs in any of the Italianfactories. "We have signed an important draft agreement withWhirlpool. In the coming days it will be submitted to the voteof the workers in all the factories and offices." Palombellacontinued: "It is undoubtedly a positive agreement, especiallywhen you consider where we started from. It averts the risk ofover 2,000 layoffs and assigns a mission to all Italian plants,while also finding a solution for Caserta and None which werescheduled to be closed. Whirlpool has formally committed to nolayoffs for the duration of the business plan, which runs until2018. The company has also pledged to withdraw the declarationof 2060 redundancies; to transfer workers between offices andplants located in different regions only on a voluntary basis;to relocate and retrain employees whose functions aretransferred to another region; to invest 513.5 million euros;to use social safety nets such as the wage guarantee fund andsolidarity contracts using rotation for an equitabledistribution of work. If the draft agreement is approved by thenational ballot of workers, executive agreements will follow ineach area to define in detailed terms the use of socialsecurity; incentives for voluntary mobility or retirement willbe launched in a single national procedure". . .