Fiat workers call for strike over big bucks Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo. (AFP)

Cristiano Ronaldo. (AFP)

Juventus fans may be excited to have footballer Cristiano Ronaldo in their squad but Fiat Chrysler workers are not.

Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) workers are planning a strike following the car manufacturer’s decision to purchase Ronaldo for €100-million (R1 565 579 354.05). Another €12-million will also be spent on “additional fees”.

The trade union, USB Lavoro Privato, argues the money spent on Ronaldo should have been invested in Fiat Chrysler. The motoring giant has been forced to lay off thousands of workers over the years over the company’s lack of new car models.

Reuters reported that workers across Italy have been “on state-sponsored temporary layoff schemes” for years due to lack of new models.

Fiat Chrysler’s plants make Jeep SUVs, Alfa Romeos, Maseratis and Fiats.

Fiat has promised that, with its new investment scheme, all employees will be able to return to full employment by 2022.

Sixty-four percent of Juventus is owned by the Agnellis, an Italian family which also owns roughly 30% of Fiat Chrysler through investment holding company Exor.

On Wednesday, Italian team Juventus confirmed that it Ronaldo had signed a four-year contract with Juventus.

Ronaldo has spent the last nine years playing for Real Madrid.

According to analysts, Bloomberg reported, Ronaldo could give the car manufactures an advertising boost: the striped Juventus shirt has Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep logo on the back.

In a statement, the union USB Lavoro Privato said it was “unacceptable that while the (owners) ask workers of FCA ... for huge economic sacrifices for years, the same decision to spend hundreds of millions of euros for the purchase of a player.

“The owners should invest in car models that guarantee the future of thousands of people rather than enriching only one.”

The union has called for a strike at the Melfi plant in southern Italy from July 15 to 17, Bloomberg reported.

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie works in the Mail & Guardian's online department. She majored in English Literature at a small liberal arts college in the USA. 
  • Read more from Gemma Ritchie
    • Gemma Ritchie

      Gemma Ritchie

      Gemma Ritchie works in the Mail & Guardian's online department. She majored in English Literature at a small liberal arts college in the USA. 
    • Read more from Gemma Ritchie
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