How DARE some businessman put the saving of his company ahead of the welfare of entitled workers! [Darleen Click]
Jobs are a right!
It was an audacious move that has divided public opinion in Italy and brought into focus the country’s low productivity and high labour cost crisis.
Earlier this month, the owner of an electrical components factory in the north of the country waved his employees off on their summer holidays. Then, without informing them, he moved the entire operation, lock, stock and barrel, to Poland.
Fabrizio Pedroni, 49, said he was driven to the drastic course of action because his factory, located near the city of Modena, had not turned a profit for five years and he was being strangled by high salaries, crippling taxes and dismal rates of productivity.
Moving the factory to Eastern Europe was the only way of saving his company, which was founded 50 years ago by his grandfather.
When his 40 employees found out what had happened, they were furious. They were not due to return from holiday until next week but got wind of the covert operation in mid-August and turned up at the Firem factory in the town of Formigine to find the place devoid of machinery.
They blocked the last of around 20 trucks from leaving the plant, but the rest were long gone, en route to the town of Olawa in south-west Poland.
Mr Pedroni says he has received death threats and will not be returning to Italy anytime soon.
“If I had told the unions that I intended to transfer production to Poland, they would have had my property confiscated, just as they tried to block the lorry,” the businessman told Radio 24, an Italian radio station.
“I had to make a choice. Our competitors in Romania and Poland offer much lower prices. I had three options – either close, move the factory, as many other businesses have done, or shoot myself in the head.”
But but but … what about the children??
Prosecutors in Modena announced this week that they had launched an investigation into the closure of the factory.
“Even in a period of serious economic difficulties, the behaviour of the owners of the Firem factory deserves censure, both in the way it was done and in the timing,” the local town council said in a statement, vowing to rally around the abandoned workers.
“Employees are not lemons to be squeezed or machines which you can move around at your pleasure in the name of profit,” said Giancarlo Muzzarelli, a regional politician.
Muzzarelli sounds like a character straight out of Atlas Shrugged …
A novel that is not so much a matter of prescience, but demonstrates that when one drops a brick off the roof of a building it isn’t going to sprout wings and fly, no matter how much airtime it has before hitting the ground.