Fiat’s decision to shut all six of its Italian plants for two weeks from next month due to falling sales has sparked political activists to call for a boycott on all Fiat products.
Around 30,000 workers will be affected by the closures, which will occur in the last week of February and first week of March. Fiat is also considering axing a plant in Sicily.
Giovane Italia, a junior organisation to Silvio Berlusconi's ruling party, will lead a boycott against buying Fiat group cars and demonstrations against the company in 30 cities where the company has a strong presence.
Giovane Italia also wants Italians to sell any shares they own in the company and avoid using banks, insurers and publishing companies which Fiat has an interest in.
“Fiat is taking anti-national decisions such as delocalising vehicle production out of Italy, closing the Termini Imerese plant and putting workers in temporary lay-offs," Giovane Italia said in a statement.
One Fiat union has described the cuts as “blackmail” and workers will strike early next month to protest the closures.
Fiat’s sales in January are expected to be 12 per cent lower than the same month in 2009 and 40 per cent lower than in 2008.
The firm has called on pan-European scrappage schemes to stay in place if new car sales are to remain at sustainable levels in 2010. CEO Sergio Marchionne said earlier this week that sales would be “drastically cut” if schemes were withdrawn.