• Italy's news in English

Uproar as factory moved to Poland in secret

Josephine McKenna · 23 Aug 2013, 17:18

Published: 23 Aug 2013 17:18 GMT+02:00

Earlier this month Fabrizio Pedroni closed his electric component factory, Firem, for the summer holidays and without informing his 40 workers he began packing the contents and shipping the machinery to Poland.

When the factory workers discovered what was happening on August 13th they blocked the final shipment from leaving the factory located in Formigine near Modena. They have been staging a sit-in at the site ever since.

“We are going to do everything possible to get Pedroni to reverse his decision,” Cesare Pizzolla, local secretary of the trade union FIOM-CGIL, told The Local on Friday.

“In these very difficult economic times you cannot make a decision like that without informing anyone. We want the company to take a step backwards and keep the factory open."

Pizzolla said workers had drawn widespread support from local residents and the union was also hoping to win the backing of the council and other regional officials to support the workers.

“In 22 years as a union official I have never seen an employer who decides to dismantle his business without undertaking any procedures.”

Pedroni was not available for comment on Friday but defended his actions in an interview with Italian Radio 24.

“I had to make a choice,” Pedroni said. “Our competitors are conducting a price war. I had three choices – to close, to move or do what other businessmen have done, shoot myself in the head.”

He said informing the trade unions about his intentions was not an option.

“If I had told FIOM that I intended to move production to Poland, Pizzola and FIOM would have seized my goods like they have blocked the (last) truck that is not mine but the property of a Polish firm,” Pedroni said.

Story continues below…

Pedroni’s controversial decision highlights the challenges facing Italy as it tries to kickstart the economy and prevent businesses from moving abroad.

Despite positive signs of improvement in the eurozone, Italy remains mired in recession with unemployment above 12 percent and an exodus of disillusioned young people seeking jobs abroad.

Antonio Mattioli, who is responsible for work contracts at CGIL’s regional office, urged the national government to intervene to prevent a repeat of what he called this act of “piracy” that was certain to bring families to their knees.

Josephine McKenna (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, and many if not most British expats in Italy are deeply concerned. But there are a few silver linings...perhaps.

Italy, US and Colombia bust massive drug trafficking ring
Franco Roberti, Italy's anti-mafia and anti-terror chief, will be at the press conference in Rome at midday. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

Thirty-three drug traffickers have been arrested and large quantities of cocaine seized as part of the investigation between Italy, America and Colombia.

How and why Italy's cannabis laws could soon change
Italy's parliament will begin debating new cannabis laws next month. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP

In July, Italy's parliament will begin debating historic changes to cannabis laws that could see the drug legalized.

At least 10 dead on sinking migrant boat: coastguard
At least 10 people have died in the latest Mediterranean disaster. Photo: Gabriel Buoys/AFP

107 people were rescued.

Praying Moroccans spark bomb alert on flight to Rome
The plane was forced to turn back to Ancona. Photo: Elliott Brown

This is the latest in a series of flight disruptions in recent months because of fears over passengers “looking suspicious”.

Italy to remove corpses from salvaged migrant boat
Some 800 people died in the 2015 tragedy. Photo: Marina Militare

The sinking left around 800 dead - but they will now get proper burials.

Italy ready for German 'Everest': Florenzi
Italy's midfielder Alessandro Florenzi (L), Italy's forward Ciro Immobile (C) and Italy's forward Lorenzo Insigne arrive for a press conference in Montpellier. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

"We've already climbed some mountains here and now we're facing Everest."

Italian spouses 'faked break-up to cash in on benefits'
File photo: foooomio/Flickr

Italy's finance police tracked the couple using hidden cameras.

Lidl and Bertolli fined €550k for fake 'extra virgin' olive oil
Photo: Dave Fayram/Flickr

The fines for misleading branding were recently hiked in Italy's ongoing battle to protect its oils.

Two-year-old hospitalized after being raised vegan
File photo: Joe Radele/AFP/Getty Images

The toddler spent several days in intensive care where she was treated for health complications thought to be caused by her parents' vegan diet.

Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
Italian restaurant crowned the best in the world
Ten breathtaking Italian gems you've never heard of
Eritrean held in Italy denies being trafficking kingpin
Italian man 'turns French' after brain injury
Six reasons why South Tyrol will absolutely blow your mind
Why Italy's facing another tough summer
Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP
Five reasons Rome's mayoral elections actually matter
Ten Airbnb apartments where you'll feel at home in Rome
Quiz: Silvio Berlusconi versus Donald Trump - who said it?
Crew who sunk with WWII sub 'wanted to be found': relative
Why the average ancient Roman worker was dead by 30
Did a Nazi official save Ponte Vecchio from destruction?
How the brutal murder of an anti-mafia hero altered Sicily
These are the best beaches within easy reach of Rome
jobs available