Trade union workers at Italy's Fiat Chrysler Melfi plant are striking after the company owners spent US$130 million on football player Cristiano Ronaldo for the Juventus football club.
"It's unacceptable that, while Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and CNHI workers continue to make huge economic sacrifices, the company spends hundreds of millions of euros on the purchase of a player," said Lavoro Privato, spokesman of the Union of Base Workers Syndicate (USB), a splintering of the National Workers Union.
Italy's Agnelli family, represented by the investment holding Exor, has owned over 60 percent of the Italian football club Juventus for the last 90 years, as well as a good 30 percent of FCA and Ferrari NV.
On July 10, Juventus officials purchased Real Madrid's world-renowned Portuguese striker for US$130 million (€100 million).
"The owners should invest in car models that guarantee the future of thousands of people rather than enriching only one," the union said.
"We're all employees of the same owner, but in such a period of enormous social difficulty this difference in treatment cannot and must not be accepted."
Thousands of FCA plant workers across Italy have been on state-sponsored temporary lay-off schemes for years due to lack of new models. The company has launched a new investment strategy to 2022 which it says should allow employees to return to work by the end of 2022.
Still, in their letter to the company, union workers said: "We are told... we need to resort to social safety nets, waiting for the launch of new models that never arrive. And while the workers and their families tighten their belts more and more, the company decides to invest a lot of money on a single human resource!
"Is this right? Is it normal for one person to earn millions, while thousands of families can't even get to the middle of the month?"
The USB concluded their message by calling for a three-day strike at the Chrysler plant beginning July 15 and ending July 17.