The closure of the Naples production facility with its highly skilled workforce is unacceptable. We ask the company to honour its commitments and deliver a sound, future-proof industrial plan for the Naples plant.
Workers of the company Whirlpool are staging an 8-hour strike in all the group’s Italian sites today, to protest the decision of the multinational home appliances producer to close its Naples site. The strike will be followed by regional demonstrations, barracks, and worker assemblies on 23 October. The protest is organised jointly by industriAll Europe’s Italian affiliates FIM-CISL, FIOM-CGIL and UILM-UiIL.
Workers and their unions fear that the plant closure will further erode the household appliances industry in Italy and lead to a critical loss of skills. 400 direct jobs are at stake in Naples and many more in the supply chain.
The white goods sector relies on innovation to develop more energy efficient products in order to maintain production and jobs. The 2019-2021 investment plan agreed in 2018 between the Italian government and the company was therefore an essential lifeline. 17 million euros of this plan were earmarked to produce high-end washing machines in Naples. However, only 6 months after signing the investment agreement Whirlpool decided to close the plant!
The unions pledge to do everything in their power to counteract the decision of the company that paradoxically comes at a time when demand for home appliances is increasing and production across the company is growing. They are calling on the Italian government to penalise the company for breaking the agreement and to promote continued investment in innovative products to safeguard activities and jobs. Regional protests will continue until the decision is withdrawn.
Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary:
“The closure of the Naples production facility with its highly skilled workforce is unacceptable. We stand in solidarity with our Italian members in their fight to ensure a future for the workers and the plant. We ask the company to honour its commitments and deliver a sound, future-proof industrial plan for the Naples plant. The company must realise the disastrous implication of its decision for workers, their families and the Naples region.”
Joint press release of FIM-CISL, FIOM-CGIL, UILM-UIL
Contact: Andrea Husen-Bradley (press and communication)