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A month partial unemployment for 48,000 employees of Fiat

For the first time, the Fiat automotive group closes most of its Italian plants for a month, bringing to 48,000 partial unemployment of its 80,000 salaried in the peninsula. Fourteen of the 20 Italian plants remain inactive until mid-January.

The state will pay a portion of their salaries to pay.

The Turin-based automaker had already resorted to partial unemployment in the fall, as the international financial crisis had spread to the industry.

The car sales fall 26% in November in Europe and 30% of the Italian market, the main Fiat. However, the group said in a statement Tuesday that its share of the European market had increased last year, from 8.2% to 8.3%. Fiat sold 71,000 cars in November, 1.53 million in the first eleven months of 2008. In 2007, it had sold 2.2 million cars and light commercial vehicles, according to its Web site.

Fiat owns a total of 178 factories employing 185,000 people worldwide. Factories beyond the partial unemployment are those that relate to agriculture, construction and industrial vehicles

A month partial unemployment for 48,000 employees of Fiat picture #1

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