London - Staff at Roberto Cavalli have begun striking in protest against planned job cuts within the Italian fashion house's workforce.

The protests follow on from previous announcements made by Roberto Cavalli's CEO Gian Giacomo Ferraris to cut up to 200 roles and close its design and corporate offices in Milan as part of a wider plan to return the company to profitability by 2018. Employees staged an eight hour strike last Friday, according to WWD and have reportedly planned a meeting with local politicians and institutions in Osmannoro, close to Roberto Cavalli's Florence base.

"The workers are distraught. They are told that there is a centralisation in Florence but in reality they fear a downsizing of strategic functions also at the Florence headquarters," commented Bernardo Marasco, a representative of the workers' union Filctem Cgil Florence, on Roberto Cavalli's reorganizational plan. "We are waiting for the start of the mobility procedure to know the number of potential layoffs."

The union has requested that Roberto Cavalli reconsiders its current reorganization plan. "As for us, there is a battle to do and we will do it to defend jobs and the brand on the territory. Mobilisation is the response to the company's plans," added Marasco. It would not be the first time workers at Roberto Cavalli have striked in response to decisions made by their employers. Over 200 employees took the street of Tuscany last November in protest against the fashion house's decision to introduce a mobility procedure to axe 66 roles.

 

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