MILAN — Safilo Group has signed a solidarity agreement with labor unions as part of its plan to manage layoffs related to the nonrenewal of its license agreement with Giorgio Armani.


Italian labor laws afford more protection for workers than is found in countries like the U.S., and the agreement is a more in-depth illustration of operational details first laid out on June 15.


The “solidarity contracts,” signed at the Ministry of Employment and Social Security in Rome, will last 24 months and involve modified working hours, employee requalification training and a selective investment program. 


“The signing of this agreement represents an important step for Safilo and for all its stakeholders, as it allows the group to address the unavoidable difficulties arising from the nonrenewal of such an important license with a solution that satisfies both the social implications, above all with reference to maintaining jobs, and the company requirements of competitiveness, efficiency and value creation,” Roberto Vedovotto, chief executive officer of Safilo Group, said in a statement.


Safilo Group’s first Armani eyewear collections came out in 2003, after the Italian fashion powerhouse did not renew its licensing agreement with Luxottica.


Last month, Armani and Luxottica confirmed they had signed a new, 10-year production and worldwide distribution agreement that will be effective in January 2013.


Safilo Group continues to produce and distribute eyewear for luxury labels including Balenciaga, Dior, Gucci, Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent, in addition to its own Safilo and Carrera brands.


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