MILAN — The Roberto Cavalli company is responding to the unions, which have lamented the planned closure of the brand’s Osmannoro complex outside Florence. This would entail the move of 170 employees to Milan starting from September, which the unions see as a mass layoff strategy, as reported.
However, after a meeting held on Friday with the unions, the fashion company now declares that the goal is to define the “manner and timing of the transfer and we want to do it quickly, in the interest of the employees. We want to collaborate with the unions and the institutions to find a solution that will allow us to manage this phase in the best possible way. The reasons of the decision have been amply explained. The shareholder’s decision is irrevocable.” The unions on the other hand, have been complaining that they have never seen the owner’s industrial plan.
Cavalli plans to “give integral continuity” to employees, guaranteeing the terms and conditions in accordance with the national collective contract.
While pursuing the plan in compliance with the safety regulations in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the company underscored that “throughout the process, we have respected all the applicable Italian laws and rules.”
The unions have repeatedly voiced concern over the effects that the move would have on the territory, but the company said it “continues to be engaged in supporting Tuscany, since a significant part of its suppliers are Tuscan.”
On Monday morning, the unions announced they are planning to strike on June 3 against the closure of the Osmannoro site and to express concerns over the future of the brand. The event will most likely be held in Florence and was approved by “the almost totality” of the workers at a meeting held earlier in the day.
Cavalli’s strategic plan is to continue to pursue “a mainly commercial vocation, increasingly more so in the future,” and “the decision to aggregate all the commercial and administrative functions at the Milan headquarters is for this reason mainly physiological: The city is the point of reference for investors and national and international clients.”
This decision, concluded the company, is made “even more rational by the effects of the pandemic: The trend of digital transformation is strongly accelerating with consequences on the business model and the work organization and this means we need to move the axis close to the companies that supply these digital services, mainly polarized in the Milanese area.”
The Femca Cisl and Filctem Cgil unions have said they will continue to oppose this procedure, scoffing at the notion that a digital model would need to be based in Milan. Mirko Zacchei and Luca Barbetti of Femca-Cisl and Filctem-Cgil Firenze stated: “While we are not entrepreneurs, we believe that all companies are saying the opposite: Precisely through the digital channel and because of the needs induced by this particular situation, they are emphasizing the value and the importance of smart working.”
Roberto Cavalli is owned by the founder and chairman of Damac Properties, Hussain Sajwani, through his private investment company Vision Investments.
Vision Investments, part of the Dico Group, is an evolution of a partnership that was signed in 2017 between Cavalli and the Dico Group for the development of Cavalli interiors for luxury hotels under the Aykon brand. The namesake founder of the brand is no longer involved in the Italian company.