BOLOGNA – A judge in Bologna, Italy, has ruled against Fiat for anti-union behavior at its Magneti Marelli plants in the region in the first verdict concerning the Italian carmaker's new labor contract, according to a ruling posted on the Fiom Cgil union Web site.
"It's a very important ruling as it's the first one on the new labor contract and ratifying our rights," said Federico Bellono, the union's local head in Turin.
In a statement, Fiat said it was "surprised and astonished" by the court ruling, adding that it would appeal the judge's decision.
Fiat introduced a new contract for its Italian workers beginning in January that includes longer shifts and shorter breaks. Fiom Cgil, Fiat's biggest union, contested the labor deal and filed about 60 suits against the Italian company for anti-union practices.
Fiom was excluded from being represented at the plants by Fiat as it didn't agree to sign the deal. The judge ordered Fiat to halt anti-union behavior.
Magneti Marelli is a Fiat-owned maker of car components such as powertrains, lighting systems and exhausts.