Calenda, 'employees should not pay for Alitalia crisis'

Alitalia is on the verge of carrying out redundancies

 ROME -- The Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda said that the Italian airline company Alitalia should not be on the verge of carrying out redundancies just because it “was managed badly,” and that employees should not have to pay for these faults, the government said Friday.

 “It is a totally private company which has significant management problems. Conversations about redundancies should not exist without first talking about a business plan. No company can save itself without a business plan,” said the minister on Italian radio.

 Calenda reiterated that the faults of the management of Alitalia “should not bounce back onto the workers.” He also reminded listeners that the company is private and that the verdict is up to the shareholders but that the government does not want to hear talk about redundancies before discussing a business plan.

 The Alitalia president Luca Cordero di Montezemolo said that “within three weeks” there will be a “strong and brave” plan for the airline. The plan, which the company is already working on, “will be additionally revisited by a business advisor shared by both business partners, because it should not just be for the manager but fully shared between the Arab and Italian associates.”

 In view of the general strike of the sector planned for Jan. 20, and considering the “grave situation” of the company, trade unions wrote a letter to the government expressing their concerns and asking for a “very urgent” meeting.

 The particular unions who sent the letter were Filt Cgil, Fit Cisl, Uiltrasporti and Ugl Trasporto Aereo, asking for “a very urgent meeting in order to evaluate every useful, possible decision.”

 Following the meeting and general dissatisfaction from the trade unions, the unionists opened a formal dispute against the airline company, which could lead to the declaration of a further strike in February.