The agreement on the Whirlpool-Indesit Italy Industrial Plan was signed today, at Palazzo Chigi, in the presence of the Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Whirlpool, the Minister for Economic Development, Federica Guidi, the Undersecretary of Labor and Social Policies, MP Teresa Bellanova, the Unions and the representatives of the regional administrations also signed the document.
The agreement was recently approved by the workers with 83 percent of consensus in the referendums in all Italian offices and production sites of the group. The plan is aimed at confirming and relaunching Whirlpool’s long-term commitment in Italy and was developed with input from the company’s top management, the institutions and the Unions.
“Today is an important day for the future of Whirlpool in Italy. Thanks to this industrial plan, we will continue to manage the entire EMEA region from Italy,” said Esther Berrozpe, President of Whirlpool EMEA and Executive Vice President of Whirlpool Corporation. “We have allocated investments of more than half a billion euros in Italy during the next four years. We are looking forward to building an even stronger, more efficient company focused on long-term growth and value creation”.
“The consensus shown by the employees with the referendums and today’s signing of the Italy Industrial Plan demonstrates that it is possible to continue to successfully do business in Italy,” said Davide Castiglioni, Managing Director of Whirlpool Italia and Vice President of Industrial Operations of Whirlpool EMEA. “I am grateful for the contribution of all and the constructive negotiations that have always characterized our industrial relations model. We have reached a fully satisfactory agreement only three months after the first presentation of the industrial plan, due to the commitment of all parties involved. For this reason, we would like to thank the Government for its constant commitment to guide the discussions toward shared solutions and the Unions for having led a transparent and constructive negotiation.”
The company’s commitment is supported by the decision to invest more than 500 million euros in Italy in processes, products and Research & Development during the next four years. The result of these investments will be the consolidation of the Italian production and Research & Development center of excellence. Indeed, Italy will become the strategic hub for EMEA Research & Development, attracting more than 75 percent R&D spending in EMEA for the company.
The Industrial Plan aims at creating an integrated industrial structure, increasing the production capacity level used in each plant and insourcing production from abroad. Each plant will be dedicated to a specific product platform and strategic specialization.
The agreement also outlines details for the company to manage redundancies across all plants with conservative social tools, facilitating exits with incentivized mobility on a voluntary basis, early retirement or favoring transfers to other facilities and that there will be no unilateral dismissals until the end of 2018.
“The agreement signed today has made us stronger and has created the basis to confirm Italy as our European operations hub,” said Castiglioni. “We believe these are the kinds of investments that support Italy and its economy. We expect these investments in higher-added-value production to create higher returns on the cost of qualified labor and Research & Development across our Italian production sites.”