Mahindra to shut Pininfarina Engineering, employees to go on strike
Automobile giant Mahindra Corp has decided to liquidate its Italian subsidiary Pininfarina Engineering in order to cover up for the losses faced during the pandemic and this has left the 135 employees of Pininfarina in a fix. Pininfarina Engineering offered a variety of work package engineering services and end-to-end vehicle development services.
The decision was taken for “the rationalization and simplification of the corporate structure of the Pininfarina Group” and the unit was no longer “considered strategic” for the development of the group, Pininfarina said in a press statement dated 26 October.
The workers have been staging protests at Turin’s main square, urging Mahindra to absorb all of them back, local media reported. Apart from protests, the members of the trade union and employees have penned a letter to the top management of Mahindra, asking them to clarify the reasons behind their decision.
In the letter, the employees argue that they are collectively qualified, experienced and competent in complete vehicle engineering projects and they cost much less than similar workforce in other countries like UK, Germany, France, etc. They end the letter by saying they do not understand how the decision to lay them off under these challenging circumstances compatible with the ethical and social guidelines declared by Mahindra and its Chairman.
Since the announcement, a few rounds of negotiations between the trade unions and Pininfarina Engineering’s management have taken place and more rounds are expected to be scheduled in the coming days. So far, Pininfarina SpA has proposed to absorb 60 of those 135 employees back to maintain an engineering division internally. However, the employees and concerned trade unions are not happy with this proposal as some of them feel that this could be a cheeky move to downsize the staff by half and pay the remaining 30-40% less.