Fiat factory workers in Italy can think of a few things they’d rather see their owner spend $US130 million ($176 million) on than Cristiano Ronaldo.
A Fiat Chrysler Automobiles union in the south of the country has called for a strike to protest against the purchase of the superstar soccer player by Juventus, which like the carmaker is owned by the Agnelli family.
That’s money that could have been used for job-boosting investments such as making better cars, the union said.
“It’s 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.
It’s calling for a strike at the Melfi plant in southern Italy from Sunday to Tuesday.
Spain’s Real Madrid agreed this week to transfer the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo to Juventus after the player asked to leave.
Juventus will pay €100 million ($158 million) for the move and another €12 million in fees to sign the player to a four-year contract.
The Agnelli family, who have owned Juventus for more than 90 years, controls Ferrari and Fiat Chrysler through its holding company, Exor, which owns 64 per cent of Juventus.
If Ronaldo can lead Juventus to the UEFA Champions League final, the media exposure for that year alone would be worth about $US58.3 million, according to Eric Smallwood, president of Apex Marketing Group.
“We’re all employees of the same owner, but in such a period of enormous social difficulty this difference in treatment cannot and must not be accepted,” the union said. “The company should invest in car models that guarantee the futures of thousands of people, rather than enriching only one.”