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Wednesday, 15 May, 2002, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Ailing Fiat cuts 2,800 jobs
Fiat Ulysse
Even new models have failed to revive Fiat's fortunes this year
Fiat is to axe 2,800 jobs, as the troubled Italian car giant attempt to regain profitability.

The cuts, most of which will go from plants around Turin, came the day after the firm revealed losses of 529m euros for the first three months of 2002.

Wednesday's statement followed a meeting with union leaders, who reacted angrily to the lay-offs, pledging industrial action.

"We have called two hours of strike with assembly in the next days," the transport sector arms of Italy's biggest unions, CGIL, CISL and UIL, said in a joint statement.

"We express a negative judgement on the meeting held today."

Revival hopes

The job cuts are the latest in a series of measures Fiat has sought in a bid to trim losses which have widened from the 16m euros reported for the first three months of 2001.

The firm on Tuesday said it hoped to raise at least 1bn euros ($900m; 624m) altogether from selling shares in Ferrari and in the tractor maker CNH Global.

And the Italian government is rumoured to be considering measures to revive the country's car market, which has weakened dramatically this year.

See also:

14 May 02 | Business
Fiat to float Ferrari
13 May 02 | Business
Fiat's future in the spotlight
09 May 02 | Business
Fiat chairman has prostate disease
08 Mar 02 | Business
Fiat builds brands to beat debts
28 Feb 02 | Business
Fiat suffers loss
02 May 02 | Business
Fiat ponders Ferrari sale
05 Jan 01 | Business
Ferrari float hopes stall
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