Fiat workers: Want to strike? Join the queue...
Strikes in UK car factories are pretty rare these days, but in Italy Fiat unions are fighting each other for the right to strike first.
In what could be a story from an old comedy show (Not the Nine o'Clock News, perhaps?), militant Fiat Trade Union FIOM is complaining that it cannot bring its workers out on strike – because car delivery drivers are already on strike. The result is that FIOM members are laid off at home, and so cannot get into to the factory to call a strike.
A FIOM spokesperson told industry website, just-auto.com, "Many Fiat plants are not working, so Fiat members can't strike. They are at home so they can't do any strike."
He also took a swipe at the striking truck drivers for not being genuine members of the proletariat, by dismissing, "the so-called truck strike," made up of "little entrepreneurs," in a tone that suggested small businessmen were only one rung above paedophiles.
Meanwhile Fiat is warning that the situation has reached "breaking point," with strikers burning cars and intimidating non-striking drivers. With Fiat losing money in Europe, and its boss warning that Fiat could close Italian factories if productivity does not improve, there could be a major confrontation brewing.