Fiat workers go on strike over Ronaldo. What is the connection?

Workers in Italian automobile company Fiat have called for a strike over Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Serie A club Juventus. Ronaldo and Juventus’ gain is amounting to the worker’s loss at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. A union has called for a strike.

Fiat workers at the Melfi plant will go on strike over Cristiano Ronaldo’s €100m transfer to Juventus. Fiat reportedly is funding the part of the deal as the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations will not permit the club to fund Ronaldo’s €100 million transfer plus €30 million salary. The huge payment would amount to a breach of the FFP regulations.

The deal, it is reported, will cost the club €400million ($470 million), including the transfer fee, the wages and an extra €10 million that will go to Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes.

“It’s (Ronaldo’s Juventus deal) is unacceptable that, while FCA and CNHI workers continue to make huge economic sacrifices, the company spends hundreds of millions of euros on the purchase of a player,” union USB Lavoro Privato said in a statement. The union has called for a strike from 15 to 17 July.

Fiat has offered to subsidise part of Ronaldo’s wage through a mega sponsorship deal which would see the Portugal captain become the face of the brand.

It is believed that some of that fee will be paid through sponsorships by Juve’s parent company Exor, which owns the likes of FIAT and Ferrari, prompting a furious backlash from the Unione Sindacale di Base.

“We’re told that times are tough, that we need to resort to social safety nets, waiting for the launch of new models, which never arrive. And while the workers and their families tighten their belts more and more, the company decides to invest a lot of money on a single human resource!”

“Is this fair? It is normal for one person to earn millions, while thousands of families can’t even get to the middle of the month? We’re all employees of the same owner, but this difference in treatment cannot and must not be accepted. The Fiat workers have made the company’s fortune for at least three generations, but in return, they have only ever received a life of misery.

“The company should invest in car models that guarantee the futures of thousands of people, rather than enriching only one. That should be the objective, a company that puts the interests of their employees first. If it isn’t, it’s because they prefer the world of football, entertainment and everything else. For the reasons described above, the Unione Sindacale di Base has declared a strike at FCA Melfi between 10 pm on Sunday, July 15 and 6 pm on Tuesday, July 17.”

Under the Uefa Financial Fair Play Regulations Clubs cannot spend in access of a certain permissible deficit limit.