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Italy’s Limoni Signs Labor Pact

The agreement reduces the number of hours most employees will work.

MILAN — Italian perfumery chain Limoni SpA is shuttering some of its Italian stores and has signed a defensive job-security arrangement with local unions, reducing the number of hours most of its employees will work through June 6, 2015.

According to the contract, signed April 1 in Rome, the decision affects 1,213 out of Limoni’s 1,626 workers in Italy, at 308 of the perfumery’s 400 national doors. Employees are guaranteed a minimum of 18 hours of work each week for the next year, with longer hours expected during the summer and Christmas sales peaks. Employees of stores set to close will be placed on government-funded leave.

Plagued by financial troubles — two of its former chief executive officers accused of tax evasion and embezzlement — Limoni has struggled over the past several years. “The negative circumstances of the market…have aggravated an existing economic and financial deficit of the company, which does not allow it to continue its normal business activities without rearranging its organization and management,” according to the contract, which also showed that Limoni’s turnover had been steadily decreasing.

Limoni is controlled by private equity firms Bridgepoint and Orlando Italy, which also owns the La Gardenia chain. In addition to reducing employee hours, Limoni is currently developing new marketing and store restructuring plans, in the hopes of turning business around.