The devil is in the details, almost always. Two lines from the press release in which Safilo, listed on the Milan Stock Exchange and number two, after Essilux, in the eyewear sector, stated verbatim: «The Board of Directors of Safilo, in reiterating the importance of the production sites in Santa Maria di Sala ( not far from Venice, ndr) and Bergamo, of the logistics center of Padua, and of the creative abilities of the group, has mandated the management to explore alternative solutions for the Longarone (Belluno) plant, the content of which will be better outlined in the coming weeks”. The plant (pictured above) employs 472 people.
The positive data of 2022
Yesterday the attention was focused more on the results, not at all disappointing, growing on 2021 and on the pre-Covid period: in 2022 – reads the press release available on the company’s website – Safilo’s preliminary net sales amounted to €1076.7 million, up 11.1% at current exchange rates and 4.2% at constant exchange rates compared to the €969.6 million recorded in 2021. In the year, organic sales instead grew by 7.7% at constant exchange rates, recording another significant improvement after the +10.5% achieved in 2021 compared to 2019.
Governor Zaia’s concern
«These are hours and days of apprehension, given that we have been following this story for a few days. The closure of Safilo would be a tragedy – commented the president of Veneto Luca Zaia, regarding the future of the plant in Longarone -. We are dealing with a large number of workers, in an area where there are many problems, and the eyewear district is important. We are on the workers’ side, we understand the company’s difficulties, but we are working to save jobs».
Councilor Elena Donazzan’s offer
«In consideration of Safilo’s corporate communication of the launch of a phase aimed at exploring alternative solutions for the Longarone plant, the Veneto Region primarily guarantees workers, trade union organisations, the company and the entire reference area the utmost commitment in order to identify an industrial response to the issue posed by the Safilo company», explained the regional labor councilor Elena Donazzan, who is following the Safilo affair together with the corporate crisis unit of the Veneto Region. “Our commitment – you explain – will be aimed at protecting and enhancing production and jobs, also in close collaboration with the competent ministries, which are those of Labor and Business and Made in Italy”.
The moves of the unions: eight-hour strike
The unions reacted immediately, calling assemblies this morning, which lasted for hours and were followed by a six-hour strike that blocked production at the Longarone plant for a total of eight hours. The announcement of another 8-hour strike in the Padua and Santa Maria di Sala plants for next Monday has also arrived. «The CGIL of Belluno, together with its categories and workers, will do everything possible to avoid the risk of closure of the Safilo plant in Longarone – declares the secretary of the Chamber of Labor of Belluno Denise Casanova, who until a few weeks ago followed the events of Safilo as secretary of the category of Filctem Cgil. – At a unitary level, the three categories of textile chemists of CGIL, CISL and UILM will decide the measures to adopt to avert a closure that risks being catastrophic for the entire Belluno area. Thus the future of 472 families is put at risk, to which is added a very large related business. The workers of Safilo di Padova and Santa a Maria di Sala are afraid of being next and for this reason they are ready to go on strike on Monday and do everything possible to defend their jobs». The company told Il Sole 24 Ore that it has nothing to add other than what is written in the press release.