A strike called by a small union at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to protest the purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo by Juventus Football Club became viral news on social media last week. However, only five workers showed up at the protest on Monday.
Turnout for the strike amounted to 0.3 percent of the 1,700 workers at the first shift of the Melfi assembly plant in southern Italy, the first of a two-day protest organized by the USB union.
The plant builds the Fiat 500x, Punto and Jeep Renegade models, according to Automotive News Europe's car assembly plant map.
"The protest actions promoted in recent days over soccer were a resounding flop," an FCA spokesman. He said the participation rate of 0.3 percent showed the strike was promoted by groups that were not representing the workforce.
The USB union said it called the strike because it found unacceptable the spending hundreds of millions of euros on the purchase of a player while FCA workers "continue to make huge economic sacrifices."
Juventus, like Fiat Chrysler, is controlled by the billionaire Agnelli family.
Unions representing the majority of FCA workers had rejected the strike calling it a publicity stunt.
Spanish soccer giant Real Madrid agreed on July 10 to transfer Ronaldo to Juventus after the player asked to leave. Juventus will pay Real Madrid 100 million euros ($117 million) for the move and 12 million euros in additional fees.
Fiat workers in Italy have been facing temporary layoffs for several years. A plan to bring Italian car plants to full employment, originally scheduled for this year, has been delayed.
Automotive News Europe and Reuters contributed to this report