MILAN (Reuters) -- Fiat has lost its latest bid to overturn a court order to hire 145 workers from Italy's Fiom union. An Italian court rejected a request to suspend a previous court order forcing the automaker to hire the workers at its Pomigliano plant, near Naples, which makes the Panda minicar.
"The Rome Appeals Court rejected the request from Fiat for a suspension ahead of a [final] ruling," Giorgio Airaudo, an official at the Fiom metalworkers' union, said on Monday. "So we ask that the court order be respected immediately."
A Rome court will make a final ruling on the dispute on Oct. 9, Fiat said, adding Monday's rejection was "merely technical."
On June 21, a Rome labor court told Fiat to hire 145 workers who are members of Fiom, Italy's largest metalworkers union. Fiom had said Fiat excluded the union's members from recent hirings at the factory in Pomigliano, which employs about 2,100.
Italian law bans discrimination against unionized workers.
The case is the latest in a legal dispute between Fiat, Italy's biggest industrial group, and the union over the company's decision last year to ask workers for more flexible conditions to reduce absenteeism and boost productivity.
Fiom opposed the plan and refused to sign a new contract with Fiat that incorporated the reforms.
The union said members still have the right to representation at Fiat's factories and, to obtain it, it has filed 61 lawsuits in 20 courts across Italy.
Some courts have ruled in favor of Fiat, and others in favor of Fiom.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report