LONDON A meeting between between engineers, trade unions and the management of the design company Accent SpA, held Wednesday (May 6) at the Italian Manufacturers' Association in Milan, failed to bring about any change to proposed job cuts, according to a source familiar with the talks.
The management, represented by chief financial officer Giacomo Del Grande, would not withdraw its proposal to cut 19 jobs, or about 30 percent of the Accent engineering workforce, the source said, Nor would the management discuss alternative proposals, such as reducing salaries and putting staff on short-time working.
"Now the situation is serious. The next step will be at the Ministry of the Labor in Rome," the source said in an email to EE Times. "If no agreement will be achieved there, all 19 engineers will be laid off. Accent will have to pay a three-month salary fee per fired employee and exact names on the layoff list will be determined by law."
Del Grande told EE Times that Accent was taking action in difficult economic circumstances and confirmed that 19 jobs in Italy are at risk. "There is a process. We are in a two-month discussion between the company, engineers and union representatives," he said.
Del Grande said he expected the discussions to conclude at the end of May or the beginning of June. Del Grande also pointed out that 19 positions represents about 20 percent of Accent's total workforce which is about 90 people. He added that the Shanghai design and operations office, opened in February, currently employs 10 people, the majority of whom are design engineers.
An Italian language blog about the jobs situation at Accent can be found at www.accent-genova.blogspot.com.
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