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Whirlpool sells 5 Italian factories—what happens to 5,000 workers?

By b0oua Mar 12, 2024
News

The sale of five Italian facilities by Whirlpool raises the question of what will become of the approximately five thousand employees?

The American home appliance company has sold its European business in accordance with the deal with the Turks of Arcelik. The arrangement includes the whole staff of the seven facilities, five of which are located in Italy.

In order to establish a clear separation from Italy, Whirlpool has decided to sell the five facilities that are located in our country. An agreement between Arcelik and a multinational household appliance manufacturer has been approved by the British Competition and Markets Authority.

The arrangement is for the establishment of a joint venture that will be known as Beko Europe. Seventy-five percent of the new firm will be owned by the Turkish group, while the remaining twenty-five percent will be owned by the American giant. The American giant will be responsible for selling the entire European branch of the production of major home appliances.

The factories in Italy that were involved

Whirlpool, which has been at the center of the labor union dispute over the Naples factory for years, will therefore transfer five Italian factories out of the seven that are present throughout the continent to Beko Europe. This will involve the participation of 4,600 employees out of a workforce of 14,000 people in our country, who are now wondering what will happen.

Given that Arcelik has other factories in the European Union that develop household appliances that are not too dissimilar to those manufactured in Italy (here, we discussed the layoffs that took place in Italy in another household appliance company, Electrolux), it is impossible to completely rule out the possibility of layoffs occurring.

In our country, the sites in Siena are affected (where chest refrigerators and freezers are produced), Comunanza (in the province of Ascoli Piceno, where washing machines and washer-dryers are assembled), Melano (in the province of Ancona, specialized in hobs), Cassinetta (in the Varese area, where refrigerators and built-in microwave ovens are manufactured), the logistics warehouse and reconditioning center for damaged products in Carinaro (Caserta), as well as the offices in Fabriano (Ancona).

Employees in Cassinetta, Melano, and Siena have already been given a month’s worth of redundancy money with termination. On the other hand, 15 days of CIG have already begun at the Comunanza plant, and workers at the Carinaro warehouse have been under the solidarity contract for an entire year.

“Minister Adolfo Urso stated on May 1st, which was the comment made by Barbara Tibaldi, who is the head of the household appliances sector of Fiom-Cgil, that he had acted with the golden power, committing Arcelik to refrain from making layoffs for a certain amount of time. In any case, it is possible that the time has come to reconsider the instrument, with the household appliance serving as a pilot sector: let us have a conversation about what golden power is and call the parties before the negotiation begins. By establishing very strict boundaries.”

The deal that was reached between Arcelik and Whirlpool

According to Ansa, an internal communication at Whirlpool highlighted the fact that the entire operation represents “a fundamental milestone” and that “the combination of the two activities will bring significant benefits to customers and consumers, through attractive brands, sustainable production, and innovation product.” This information was reported by Ansa.

After receiving authorization from the European Commission in October of last year, the agreement between the American giant and Arcelik was now given the definitive green light by the United Kingdom Antitrust. This is because the United Kingdom Antitrust believes that the creation of the joint venture will not raise significant problems under the competition profile.

“We came to the conclusion that the transaction is not anticipated to have a negative impact on competition, as purchasers will continue to benefit from a diverse selection of options. According to Martin Coleman, the chairman of the independent panel that was responsible for conducting the study, “the conclusion that we have reached is that this agreement ought to be allowed to move forward.”

On the first of April, all of the legal procedures will be finished in order to make the new Beko Europe company effectively active beginning the following day. The Turkish group will then transfer two Romanian production sites to the new company.

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By b0oua

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