Unions Put the Kibosh on Moto Morini Acquisition

05/18/2010 @ 2:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS

You have to love labor unions sometimes. Faced with the prospect of being completely out of work, the labor union negotiators have rejected a proposal from Paolo Berlusconi that would save Moto Morini from going completely out of business. Of course us Americans can relate to this plight, as we just recently watched the UAW try to pull the same tactic while the US automotive industry crumbled around them. The blocked agreement is obviously bad news for Moto Morini, but Berlesconi is likely not done pursuing the troubled Italian manufacturer.

For his part Paolo Berlusconi is expected to make another offer on the company, which will hopefully be more appealing to the labor unions. It’s unclear how soon that offer could be made, as it would seem Belusconi can wait indefinitely on the purchase of Moto Morini, while the trade union has workers without jobs to answer to during this waiting period.

Belusconi’s original offer was rumored to be for around €2.8-2.9 million, and included provisions for worker severance pay, new hires, and the new company leasing the current factory for the next six years, which would keep jobs in the Bologna area.

Source: MotoBlog.it

  • wayne

    Let’s hear it for unions! In my own experience, I have yet to see or hear of an American labor union doing anything good for the rank and file guy. Unless you consider keeping lazy, overpaid, under-skilled laborers from being fired good for the rank and file guy. I wonder if European unions are that much different?

  • I was a union man back in the day. I got paid over $40/hr to do unskilled manual labor, with all sorts of perks. I have friends with J.D.’s and M.B.A.’s who make less than that now, which is sort of disconcerting when you consider how much those programs cost.

    The EU is far more worker oriented than the US, and Bologna is the center of the socialist movement in Italy. Getting around the unions there is next to impossible…which just adds to the “magic” of owning an Italian motorcycle company.

  • Jaybond

    To grow, Moto Morini needs to come out with a new Superbike!

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  • Jaybond

    ..based on the existing Corsaro Veloce chassis of course.

  • Anthony

    “Belusconi’s original offer was rumored to be for around €2.8-2.9 million, and included provisions for worker severance pay, new hires, and the new company leasing the current factory for the next six years, which would keep jobs in the Bologna area.”

    Apart from this paragraph we don’t really know what was offered to the workers. Many in the media think that workers should just shut up and accept anything that is offered.
    Yes, there have been crazy demands from Unions but until you know the facts why assume the Unions are the sole problem. What if Belusconi offered half pay for new hires, should the Union accept that?
    In addition, If you think the Unions alone destroyed GM and Chrysler you are a fool.

    Let’s stick to Motorcycles and keep away from politics, shall we.

  • wayne

    @Anthony: Again, in my experience, if a union is involved, the union will be the issue. Which is not to say employers are always fair in their dealings, but when my uncle lost his GM job because the UAW and GM could not reach an agreement the “politics” of it became moot. The other union with which I am forced to contend with on a daily basis (whom I shall not name for employment reasons) makes it a point to go out of their way to get reinstated employees who have been fired for proper cause (assault, drugs, etc) and has even directed their chapters to file grievances for the sole purpose of extorting monies from the company. When the company is no longer able to afford to do business because of frivolous grievances and must shut down, who then is to blame?

  • Fedro

    Union is just trying to defend workers. According to the italian media, no official offers were made in order to mantain the job of any of the present day emploees, just a verbal(!) promise to save 20 jobs out of ca. 60. Any solution proposed by the Union, which they say woud cost nothing to Berlusconi, was refused.

    Several people think that Berlusconi is interested only in the brand and would shout down the pruduction of bike in Bologna, hence fire all workers, and perhaps to it move abroad. His other company (Garelli) is in fact 100% “made in China”.

  • Unions do need to improve, but unions definitely are needed. Without them, big business will not take long to do whatever to whomever. Best wishes on a mutually beneficial agreement and long live Moto Morini

  • TL

    Its a shame that they are having these troubles. I’d love to see a larger selection of sport twins on the market. IMHO unions aren’t necessary – business, big or little are limited by the market quite nicely. This point isn’t universally accepted, but does have significant support – at least enough that it shouldn’t be quickly dismissed. I totally agree with the best wishes for all parties involved!

  • Argie

    The workers have always been a liability to the CEO class, and unless your a CEO, you should back off of blaming unions or workers for this deal falling through.
    There are no published offers made from Belusconi or the unions. So when bashing unions or the workers, you show your own bias.
    How do you know it’s not the unions/workers insisting the factory stay there longer that the other side cant agree to? or firing the workers and rehiring for half the pay ala circuit city….
    its always the worker makes or wants too much money..what a joke.
    all the money ends up at the top, maybe one day the union bashers will realize they’re fighting for the owner class and hurting us all.