Company Reduces Workforce by 43% – Only Women Fired

“We are firing the women so they can stay at home and look after the children.” Ma-Vib company spokesperson after laying off 43 percent of its workforce – all women.

Yes, this is a comment made just recently in the 21st Century.  The family-owned company that has been in business for more than 30 years, according to their website “manufacturing of fractional electric motors” and more.

Barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen

Located just outside Milan, Italy, it, like many companies around the world, Ma-Vib was forced to downsize due to negative economic conditions.  Last month, the company gave pink slips to 13 of its 30 workers.  Prior to the layoffs, there were 12 men and 18 women working on the assembly line.  Now there are 12 men and 5 women.  The union representative was enraged by the audacity , calling for the remaining workers to strike.

 

“In this country, at the government and company level, there is always the same old thinking – that it is preferable that women stay at home”, said Maria Sciancati, general secretary of the FIOM (Italian Federation of Metalworkers) engineering union to the UK Guardian.

Only one of the men who remained on the job showed up to participate in the strike (I think his wife was one of the redundant workers, don’t you?)

My great-grandfather was born in Italy, so I have a little experience in this area. [not really] This kind of attitude is apparently pervasive in the country, coming to the forefront and out of the shadows in February, with the indictment of Prime Minister Berlusconi for allegedly having sex with an underage girl. Hundreds of thousands of women took to the streets in Rome and surround cities and towns to protest how women are viewed and treated in the country.  Apparently, Ma-Vib didn’t get the memo.  Just four months after the country-wide protests, Ma-Vib laid off 43 percent of its workforce – All Women.

“In this country, at the government and company level, there is always the same old thinking – that it is preferable that women stay at home”, said Maria Sciancati, general secretary of the FIOM (Italian Federation of Metalworkers) engineering union to the UK Guardian.

Italy has one of the lowest female worker population.  Customs have dictated for generations that women quit working when their first child is born.  It may be too late now for women to change attitudes to save themselves, but it is imperative they work now to change the culture for their young daughters, all of whom deserve to have choices and be respected on their own merit.  Ma-Vib may be just the tip of the iceberg, but the unfortunate tale is certainly a cold splash of reality.  Let’s hope it incites positive change.

Share This:

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.