Tavares de Stellantis launches charm offensive with Italian unions

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In this news, we discuss the Tavares de Stellantis launches charm offensive with Italian unions

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MILAN (Reuters) – Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares visits the group’s Italian factories, starting relations with local unions as the new automaker seeks more than 5 billion euros ($ 6.1 billion) per year in savings.

The world’s fourth largest automaker was officially created on Saturday from the merger of Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and manufacturer Peugeot PSA, with the former boss of PSA Tavares becoming CEO of the group.

FCA and PSA have pledged to save money without closing any factories, and Tavares also pledged earlier this week not to cut jobs.

In a gesture hailed by Italian unions, CEO visits part of the group’s main production sites in the country: Mirafiori in Turin on Wednesday, Melfi in the south on Thursday and Cassino in the center on Friday.

Marco Lomio of the UILM union in the Basilicata region, where Melfi is located, said Tavares took the time to listen and answer all questions.

“It has never happened that a CEO has sat down to answer questions from representatives at such a high level,” he said.

CEO of FCA “Mike Manley had never visited us at the factory. Tavares seems to be more in tune with the style of former CEO Sergio Marchionne, ”Lomio added.

Earlier in the week, Tavares held a virtual meeting with the heads of the national unions of Italian metalworkers. The meeting was scheduled shortly after being called for and was viewed as an “act of respect” by Francesca Re David, who heads the left-wing metalworkers union IMF.

“It is important that he meets all the unions and that he has underlined the need to invest in the intellect, creativity and skills of Italian workers,” she said.

Italy and France are Stellantis’ two main production hubs in Europe, but Italian unions fear that after the merger, the group’s center of gravity will shift to Paris.

Report by Giulio Piovaccari. Editing by Mark Potter

Original © Thomson Reuters

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