ROME -- Italy's government signed a deal with trade unions and representatives of Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux (IW 1000/278) to stave off the threat of closure for one of the company's factories and save 1,200 jobs.
Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi hailed the deal as "significant" following nine months of talks, while Electrolux Italia chief Ernesto Ferrario said it was the result of a "long and painful process."
The deal will see Electrolux invest around 150 million euros ($206 million) by 2017 and will suspend planned redundancies in exchange for tax breaks for the four plants affected in central and northern Italy.
"This deal shows public money should be spent on firms that do not sack people and do not outsource," said Maurizio Landini, head of the FIOM union.
The agreement has to be voted on by factory workers by May 22 and provides for meetings every six months between trade unionists, company executives and government officials to monitor its implementation.
Electrolux unleashed a wave of protests in Italy in January when it threatened to move production to Poland if its Italian workers did not accept a salary cut.
The company last month announced an unexpected rise in profits for the first quarter and said demand for its products had improved in Europe. It said it had bounced back from losses at the end of 2013 to post a 19% rise in profit to 431 million kronor ($65.6 million, 47 million euros).
Copyright Agence France-Presse 2014