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Automated System
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Reuters reports that trade unions representing workers at its Melfi assembly plant have approved a program that allows the automaker to temporarily lay off workers while it restructures the facility to produce new vehicles, including a smaller Jeep model. The announcement came from Giuseppe Giordano, regional secretary of the UGL metalworkers union, following a meeting with Fiat. The unions' approval means Fiat can shut down two lines at the Melfi plant as early as February 11. The Italian government still needs to sign off on the deal to ensure funds for the extended unemployment period. The temporary lay-off scheme can run until the end of 2014, but Fiat can restart production as soon as new lines are ready, possibly reopening at  the end of 2013. Fiat is awaiting an approval by the government for the plan. Melfi, one of Fiat's largest Italian plants, currently builds the Punto model. Fiat Group said it..

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Layoff is the wrong translation of "Cassa Integrazione Guadagni".
We went through all this before.... I seem to remember.


Redundancy fund

Since 1947, and with reforms in 1975, cash benefits are also provided as shock absorbers to those workers who are suspended or who work only for reduced time due to temporary difficulties of their factories. This institute, the Redundancy Fund (Cassa integrazione guadagni, CIG), aims to help the factories in financial difficulties, by relieving them from the costs of unused workforce, supporting as well those workers that might lose part of their income. .............. The workers entitled to Redundancy Fund receive the 50% of their previous wages under a maximum level established by the law, and their contributions for pensions are taken for paid, even if they are not (contributi figurativi). The Ordinary Redundancy Fund applies for temporary events not attributable to the employer or to the workers, like a temporary market crisis. It can apply for a maximum of twelve months in two years, for a maximum period of three months continuously. The Extraordinary Redundancy Fund applies, at the contrary, to other cases in which the production completely stops, also for a long period and also due to the employer’s decisions, after the authorization of the Ministry of Labour, such as industrial reorganizations, technological unemployment, crisis of the sector, bankruptcy, etc. It applies only to companies with more than 15 employees, and only to employees with more than ninety days of previous employment; it needs a preventive communication to trade unions, with which the employer has to make a common examination of the situation and to create a project to face the consequences for workers. The period of application of the Extraordinary Redundancy Fund varies according to its causes, but cannot be more than 36 months in a period of five years.
 
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