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Italian Autoworkers Strike Against Fiat
Friday, 28-Jan-2011 4:54PM United Press International
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ROME, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- An Italian autoworkers union held a nationwide strike against carmaker Fiat, protesting being shut out of recent contract negotiations, officials said.

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FIOM, the engineering workers' arm of the left-wing union CGIL, called the eight-hour strike against Fiat after the automaker brokered a deal with moderate unions to boost productivity at its Mirafiori assembly plant, ANSA reported Friday.

The controversial agreement was made outside Italy's long- established system of nationally negotiated contracts, and features reductions in break times, increases in shifts, measures to cut absenteeism, and limits on the ability to strike.

Autoworkers at the Mirafiori plant approved the contract by a slim margin.

Factory-specific contracts like it and a previous one at a plant near Naples are needed to boost productivity, Fiat Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said.

FIOM has called the recent plant-specific deals an attack on labor rights.

Fiat said 25 percent of its workers took part in FIOM's general strike.

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