Embraco in talks with Italian government over Riva di Chieri plant

Indo Asian News Service

Rome, March 2 (IANS/AKI) Representatives of US-owned electrical appliances manufacturer Embraco on Thursday attended talks with the Italian government in Rome on the company's plant in northwest Italy, which it plans to close with the loss of some 500 jobs, unions said.

The government is eager to avert job losses at Embraco's Riva di Chieri plant near Turin and industrial development minister Carlo Calenda will hold meetings in Rome on Friday with trade unions, the Fiom and Uilm unions said.

"We are hopeful that the minister's initiatives will produce results and give some relief for Embraco workers," Uilm stated.

"The basis for any negotiations is the reinstatement of the workers," said Fiom.

Calenda on Wednesday said the Italian government was open to offers to redevelop the Riva di Chieri site and will present to unions the proposals received so far when he meets them on Friday.

A subsidiary of US white goods giant Whirlpool, Embraco said in January it would close Riva di Chieri factory, which makes refrigerators and washing machines, fire 487 out of 537 workers there and shift production to Slovakia.

After Embraco refused to reinstate the sacked Riva di Chieri workers, Calenda took up the case with the European Commission in February to see if Slovakia has breached European Union state aid rules and if Rome can intervene to save the plant without breaching those same rules.