Lamborghini introduces four-day week for production workers


(Reuters) - Lamborghini has reached a deal with unions to introduce a four-day week for its production workers, the labour associations and the company said on Tuesday, as more manufacturing groups re-consider the structure of the work week for their employees.

The FIOM and FIM-CISL unions said the agreement is "historical" as it is the first in the automotive industry in Europe to achieve a significant reduction in working hours without cutting wages, but rather increasing them.

The move comes at a time when many companies and public offices are changing how people work to improve employee well-being and promote company savings after the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs.

Similar four-day week schemes adopted in other European countries, such as Britain, have found that employees worked more in less time, job retention and recruitment improved and sickness levels went down.

"Work less and work better, this is the principle that guided this negotiation, and which is part of a comprehensive reasoning," a statement from FIOM and FIM-CISL said.

Production workers on a rotating two-shift schedule will alternate a five-day week with a four-day week, overall cutting 22 days of work each year, the unions said.

Those on a three-shift rota, which includes night shifts too, will have a five-day week alternated with two four-day weeks, cutting their yearly working days by 31.

The agreement reached with Lamborghini is part of a broader renegotiation of the framework contract used for workers of the carmaker, a subsidiary of Germany's Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE), which also includes 500 new jobs, an increase in annual wages and further labour benefits.

In terms of pay, the deal includes a 50% increase in the current variable bonuses paid to workers as well as a one-off bonus of over 1,000 euros ($1,082) to be paid this month.

On Tuesday, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) said that 70% of almost 30,000 people who had the option of asking to work a four-day week had done so, with requests on the rise. In January, Italy's largest bank opened to shorten the working week to curb energy bills, the first such move by a major Italian employer.

Last week, eyewear maker Essilorluxottica (ESLX.PA) agreed with labour unions to test a four-day working week model in its Italian plants, for 20 weeks per year.

Other Italian groups, including the aerospace and defence group Leonardo (LDOF.MI), are also in talks with unions to extend flexible working benefits to their production sites.

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