Strike hits Fiat Chrysler plant in Italy after death of worker

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Fiat carmaker is seen in Nice, France, June 3, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - A Fiat Chrysler FCHA.MI worker died overnight in an accident at the group's factory in Cassino, central Italy, prompting unions to launch a strike at the plant to demand tighter safety measures, officials said on Tuesday.

FCA confirmed the death of the 40 year-old in an accident that occurred as he was moving a mould in the cold press area of the plant as part of standard operating procedure.

A spokesman for the auto maker said FCA expressed its “profound condolences” to the family for the tragic death of Fabrizio Greco.

“All initiatives in support of his family were activated immediately,” he said. “The Company is actively collaborating with the competent authorities that are looking into causes of this tragic and exceptional accident”.

Metal engineering unions, FIOM, FIM, UILM and AQCFR jointly called for an eight-hour strike on Tuesday in Cassino, where the group produces Alfa Romeo Giulia sedans and Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV models.

Rocco Palombella, head of the UILM union, said accidents of such gravity had not happened for several years at Fiat Chrysler plants.

“We’re waiting to know from prosecutors how a fatal accident could occur, despite all the safety measures that are normally taken in the plant,” he said.

FIOM heads Francesca Re David and Michele Palma urged the government to strengthen procedures to prevent accidents and oversee job safety, claiming that both were increasingly being affected by understaffing.

Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Mark Potter and Kirsten Donovan