ROME (AP) -- Fiat workers across Italy are going on strike to protest plans to end auto production at a Sicilian plant next year.
Wednesday's four-hour strike, which began at 8:00 a.m. (7:00 GMT), marked the first nationwide work stoppage since CEO Sergio Marchionne took over the company in 2004 and mounted its turnaround.
Fiat SpA has insisted auto production must stop at the plant because of the high cost -- about euro1,000 ($1,400) per car -- of transporting parts from northern Italy to the Termini Imerese plant on the southern island. Fiat has said it would study ways of revamping the plant to build other things, perhaps components, but has insisted auto production must stop.
Unions say they expected all 80,000 Fiat workers in Italy to strike to protest the plans.