In the European Union, Directive 01/23 stipulates that in the event of the transfer of businesses, plants or parts of businesses or plants following a contractual sale or merger, an information and consultation procedure must be conducted with employee representatives.
The procedure must be initiated reasonably in advance of the transfer. Accordingly, Fiat Group companies comply with the regulatory provisions resulting from the adoption of the above directive in each individual EU Member State.
Furthermore, the agreement establishing the Fiat Group European Works Council includes issues requiring that employees be informed and consulted: fundamental changes in the organization, introduction of new working methods and new manufacturing processes significantly affecting the Group as a whole, and reductions in size or the closure, relocation of
production, or merger of companies or business units having a substantial impact on employment at a global level.
Outside the European Union, local laws and practices apply.
In the United States, a federal law known as WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act), which applies to both unionized and non-unionized sites, requires an employer to give a minimum of 60 days’ notice of any action that will cause at least 50 employees or 33% of the workforce to lose their jobs.
In Canada, notice of termination regulations vary by province. In Ontario, where the majority of the Canadian workforce is employed, notification must be given within four weeks of the actual termination, for plants with 50 employees or more. The remaining Chrysler Canada employees are located in Alberta and Quebec, where the maximum notice requirement is ten weeks for employees with more than ten years of service. At unionized sites and/or plants in the United States and Canada, the level of union involvement is normally defined by the collective bargaining agreement signed between the company and the trade union and applicable at plant level, and usually also sets out the information and consultation procedures to be followed in such circumstances. At non unionized plants, it is common practice to make a company-wide announcement to all employees of organizational changes relating to outsourcing, giving reasonable prior notice of the operation.
In Mexico, companies are required to notify the Secretariat of Labor and Social Welfare as well as the trade union prior to any mass employee layoffs or plant closures. However, no notification period is expressly defined in Mexican labor law. In Venezuela, notice of termination of employment varies according to an employee’s years of service, e.g., from a minimum of one week’s notice for employees with one to six months of service, to a maximum of three months’ notice for employees with ten or more years of service.