MILAN, Italy (AP) -- The Italian automaker Fiat Group SpA's layoff plans are now hitting white-collar workers.
Fiat informed unions this week that 1,800 white-collar workers will be temporarily laid off for the first week of February, and 1,500 during the second week, the company confirmed Thursday.
That is in addition to 48,000 blue-collar workers -- more than half of the Italian work force -- who were temporarily laid off until the middle of January. Workers at a Naples plant also will be laid off into February.
The monthlong shutdown of most of its Italian plants during the holiday season was unprecedented for the Turin-based automaker, which like the rest of the industry is trying to cope with the huge drop in demand for new cars.
Under the temporary layoff scheme, part of the workers' salaries are paid by a government-administered fund that includes industry contributions.