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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Fiat Naples plant to stand outside national body

(Corrects to change “be” to “to” in headline) (Adds background, details)

TURIN, Italy, July 29 (Reuters) - The new company being set up to manage carmaker Fiat SpA's FIA.MI plant near Naples will stand outside the Confindustria business union, meaning it will not be covered by national job contracts, a senior union official said on Thursday.

Roberto di Maulo, secretary of the Fismic union, said the company, dubbed “Newco” in the Italian press, would not be part of the Industrial Union of Naples and therefore of Confindustria.

He spoke after a meeting of unions who have signed the work contract for the Pomigliano plant near Naples.

The decision to place the new company outside the umbrella of the national employers federation underlines the determination of Fiat Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne to shake up work practices at Fiat’s home plants.

On Thursday, he laid down an ultimatum to unions, saying that the group would move out of Italy unless it could obtain guarantees that its home production network could be operated profitably. [ID:nLDE66R0X4]

Fiat’s efforts to introduce more flexible working practices at its Pomigliano Naples plant have fuelled a national debate on labour laws, which employers see as a hindrance to improving competitiveness in Italian industry.

Fiat has secured the agreement of 62 percent of its work force at Pomigliano to plans that would increase flexibility in working hours to meet fluctuations in demand and secure commitments to avoid excessive absenteeism. (Reporting by Gianni Montani; Writing by James Mackenzie; Editing by David Holmes)

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