February 5, 2018 / 1:44 PM / a year ago

Fiat Chrysler to cut Mirafiori plant production by 60 pct until July - union

MILAN, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler will cut working hours at its Mirafiori plant in Turin, Italy, which mainly produces the luxury Maserati Levante sport utility vehicle, by almost 60 percent until July, the FIOM union said in a statement on Monday.

FCA already halted production of the Levante for several days last year using so-called temporary layoffs, under which workers are kept home to adjust production to market demand.

Now the company has decided to replace those temporary layoffs with solidarity contracts, under which all workers agree to work less but nobody is laid off.

The contracts will result in a 59 percent cut in working hours or a loss of an equivalent of 2,080 jobs, the union said.

The carmaker declined to comment.

When FCA presented its last five-year investment plant in 2014, Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne promised to guarantee full employment at its Italian plants by the end of 2018.

But when speaking to reporters at the Detroit auto show last month, Marchionne said the company may need more time.

FCA has been retooling plants in Italy to produce greater numbers of its higher-margin models, such as the Maserati SUV, several Alfa Romeo models or the Jeep Renegade. The group is due to present its next strategy plan and investments to 2022 on June 1.

“Not only the promise of full employment by 2018 for the Italian plants has turned out to be ... illusory or even a bit mocking, but any new investment is unlikely to start by September, and maybe not even by the end of the year,” said Federico Bellono, the FIOM union’s regional secretary general in Turin.

Reporting by Stefano Rebaudo, writing by Agnieszka Flak, editing by Louise Heavens

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