Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus leads Fiat workers to call strike
An Italian trade union has announced that Fiat workers in the southern town of Melfi will go on strike over Cristiano Ronaldo's €100 million move to Juventus.
Real Madrid confirmed on Tuesday that the five-time Ballon d'Or winner would be leaving the club to join Juventus. When news first broke of the potential transfer, Fiat workers had threatened to take action against their employers. The car manufacturer Fiat, to which the brand Ferrari exclusively belongs, is reportedly 29.1 percent owned by the Agnelli family, which also has 63.77 percent of Juventus.
And that has now become a reality with Unione Sindicale di Base releasing a statement, which announced strike action would take place from the evening of July 15 until the morning of July 17.
"It is unacceptable that, while for years you have continued to ask FCA [Fiat Chrysler Automobiles] and CNHI [Case and New Holland Industrial] workers to make enormous sacrifices on an economic level, the company spends hundreds of millions of euros on the purchase of a footballer," a statement read.
"We are told that times are tough and that we must resort to social safety nets in anticipation of the launch of new models which never arrive.
"And, while the workers and their families tighten up the belts more and more the company decides to invest on a human resource for so much money. Is all of this right? Is it right that one single person can earn millions and yet thousands of families don't even get to the middle of the month?"
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Juventus then confirmed the clubs had agreed on a transfer fee of €100m (approximately $117m) -- a Serie A record -- with the Italian club also paying €12m in ancillary fees to land the 33-year-old Ronaldo, who signed a four-year contract.
Sources confirmed to ESPN's Gabriele Marcotti that Real Madrid were willing to match Juventus' gross salary offer of around €55 million annually (approximately $64.5m), but Ronaldo still opted to leave.
"We are all employees of the same owner but never as in this moment of huge social difficulty, this unequal treatment cannot and will not be accepted," it continued.
"Fiat workers have made the company's fortune for at least three generations, making whoever moves around the society rich and, in return, have received only misery.
"The company should invest in car models which guarantee the future of thousands of people rather than make just one person rich -- this has to be the objective for whoever puts the interests of its workers first. If this does not happen, it is because they prefer the world of sport, entertainment and everything else."
Juventus will play four preseason games in the United States this summer -- including the MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta on Aug. 1 and an International Champions Cup match against Real Madrid in Washington on Aug. 4.