Labor relations may, on occasion, require the involvement of a higher power. But it’s safe to say that few automakers have the leader of the Roman Catholic Church intervene on behalf of its workforce.
Fiat had planned to shutter an assembly plant in Sicily, but that didn’t go down well with residents, or Pope Benedict XVI. Pushing to keep the plant open, the pope expressed moral support to the 80,000 protesters who staged a nationwide strike at Fiat plants across Italy.
“The economic crisis is causing the loss of numerous jobs, and this situation requires a great sense of responsibility on the part of everyone: entrepreneurs, workers, and governing officials,” said Pope Benedict.
The papal intervention comes not long after French President Nicolas Sarkozy admonished Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renault-Nissan, for plans to possibly produce the Clio4 in Turkey rather than France. Leaders– both political and religious — aren’t keen on seeing jobs evaporate from their home countries as automakers try to cut costs.
After his discussion with the French president, Ghosn confirmed the Clio4 will indeed be produced in France, but it remains to be seen what influence the Pope will have over Fiat.
Source: The Detroit News