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​Fiat sacks 4 employees for fake suicide of CEO

Published time: June 26, 2014 14:24
Edited time: June 27, 2014 05:49
An employee's works in the Fiat Abarth factory in Turin, northern Italy (AFP Photo / Marko Bartorello)

An employee's works in the Fiat Abarth factory in Turin, northern Italy (AFP Photo / Marko Bartorello)

Car manufacturer Fiat has dismissed 4 employees from an Italian factory after they staged the fake suicide of the company’s CEO. The workers were protesting mass company layoffs that led to the suicide of a co-worker earlier this year.

Fiat has accused the workers of violating “the most basics requirements of the employment relationship,” reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica. As part of their protest, the employees hung a cardboard cut-out of CEO Sergio Marchionne outside a factory in Nola, Naples. They then proceeded to stage a funeral in front of the building.

The employees take issue with the mass layoffs that Fiat has been implementing at their factories in Italy. Fellow worker, Maria Baratto, was driven to suicide in May after she was laid off by the car manufacturer.

Altogether three former employees in the cities of Pomigliano and Nola have ended their lives after being fired by the company.

During the fake suicide, the Fiat employees also called for the return of over 300 workers to the factory in Pomigliano, following their transfer to Nola in 2008.

Italy has seen a sharp rise in the number of suicides since the onset of the financial crisis. Last year the Report of Global Rights showed that suicides, related to financial instability, had grown by 40 percent in comparison with the same period in 2012.

In the first quarter of 2013, the report revealed there had been 14 economic suicides by entrepreneurs and 16 by unemployed people.

The study says that most of these deaths can be attributed to a “precarious” economic situation and the loss of work.

"The increase in suicides is because the economic crisis seems to leave no more hope, especially among entrepreneurs," Nicola Ferrigni, one of the directors of the study, told Al Jazeera.