As CEO Sergio Marchionne decided to close the plant, several strikes swept across Fiat’s Italian plants on February 3. Apparently 14% of the 32,000 Italian Fiat workers put down their tools and walked out, hoping that this will make a difference. Shortly after that, Fiat stated that it wants to move its Lancia Ypsilon production from the Sicily factory.
"It is a one-day strike but this has been going on since Christmas," a Fiat spokesman told just-auto from Turin. "We had workers chaining themselves to council offices in Palermo for example.
"This plant is a small assembly [unit] in Sicily where we build the Ypsilon. There is little infrastructure so we have to export componentry to the island - we are losing around EUR1,000 (US$1,390) per car. It would be cheaper to send everyone home and keep them on full pay until nearly retirement age."
Fiat also stated that it has “no issue” with its Sicily workforce or their level of quality, but “unfortunately, it is located in the wrong place,” as the transport costs are too big. One of the possible solutions was moving the production of the Panda model from Poland to Sicily, but it seems that would still bring some money losses at the Termini Imerese factory.