In a groundbreaking move, Lamborghini has inked a deal with labor unions to usher in a four-day workweek for its production staff, marking a pivotal shift in the automotive industry in Europe. The FIOM and FIM-CISL unions hailed the agreement as “historic,” distinguishing it as the first instance in European automotive history where a substantial reduction in working hours is achieved without a corresponding decrease in wages. On the contrary, wages are set to increase.
This transformative decision aligns with a broader trend as companies and institutions reevaluate work structures to enhance employee well-being and streamline operational costs in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic and escalating expenses. Similar initiatives in other European nations, such as the United Kingdom, have demonstrated that condensed workweeks led to increased productivity, improved job retention and recruitment rates, and a decrease in sickness-related absences.
The ethos driving this negotiation, as articulated by a statement from FIOM and FIM-CISL, is to “work less and work better.” Production workers following a rotating two-shift schedule will experience alternating five-day and four-day workweeks, resulting in a reduction of 22 working days annually. Meanwhile, those on a three-shift rotation, which includes night shifts, will observe a five-day week alternating with two four-day weeks, effectively decreasing their annual working days by 31.
This landmark agreement with Lamborghini is a pivotal component of a more extensive renegotiation of the framework contract governing the carmaker’s workforce, a subsidiary of Germany’s Volkswagen. The comprehensive renegotiation encompasses 500 new job opportunities, an upswing in annual wages, and additional labor benefits. Regarding remuneration, the deal incorporates a noteworthy 50% increase in the current variable bonuses paid to workers, coupled with a one-off bonus exceeding 1,000 euros ($1,082), slated for disbursement this month.
In a parallel development, Intesa Sanpaolo (ISP.MI) reported a substantial uptake, with 70% of nearly 30,000 employees opting for a four-day workweek, showcasing a growing trend. Italy’s largest bank initiated this shift in January to mitigate energy expenses, marking a pioneering move among major Italian employers. Similarly, eyewear manufacturer Essilorluxottica (ESLX.PA) recently collaborated with labor unions to trial a four-day workweek model in its Italian facilities for 20 weeks per year. Discussions are also underway between other Italian companies, including aerospace and defense group Leonardo (LDOF.MI), and unions to extend flexible working benefits to their production sites. ($1 = 0.9244 euros)