Production at Stellantis’ Melfi Assembly Plant has come to a halt on Tuesday after the automaker’s logistic contractors have gone on strike. The Italian facility is home to the Jeep® Compass (BU), Jeep Renegade (BV), and Fiat 500X (FD), this includes all Renegade and 500X models for the North American marketplace.
The Italian unions (FIM, FIOM, UILM, FISMIC, Uiltrasport, FIT-CGIL, and Fast-Confsal), as well as RSU Logistics, gave the go-ahead to workers after the automaker announced it would cut one-third of the work assigned to the contractors, according to a joint press release.
The unions said they met with Stellantis to discuss the situation following prevailing tensions and concerns. Stellantis highlighted the delicate situation was based on a drop in purchases, the ongoing semiconductor shortage, and the increase in prices of raw materials. The automaker stressed that it needed to take action to rationalize its expenses and that a multinational program to reduce the “complexity” of the company’s products led by Stellantis CEO, Carlos Tavares, led to a cut of a third of the activities to the contractors.
The strike started at 10:00 p.m. GMT and will continue for three more 8-hour shifts, according to the unions.
The Melfi Assembly Plant employs more than 7,000 workers and has been struggling with both semiconductor and supply chain shortages in recent months. The result is a continuous stoppage in production.
The unions have proclaimed a dislike for Tavares since the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Peugeot S.A. (PSA) began. Last year, Tavares told the Italian unions that he would work with them to improve competitiveness and cut production costs at the Italian factories which historically have cost up to four times as much to operate as similar facilities in France or Spain.
We reached out to Stellantis for comment, however as of the writing of this article, the automaker has remained silent.