Ex-Fiat workers occupy two banks in Sicily

PALERMO, Italy May 14 (Reuters) – About 300 former Fiat and auto sector workers protesting against unemployment and hardship in Sicily occupied local branches of banks Unicredit and Intesa San Paolo on Monday, unions said.

The protesters called for “immediate solutions” to relaunch Fiat’s Termini Imerese plant in Sicily, which the car maker shuttered in Nov. 2011 due to long-running logistical problems caused by its location in a corner of Italy.

About 2,200 workers at the plant were affected. As of Jan. 1, 1,417 workers were on a temporary layoff plan.

Unions Fiom, Fim and Uil said the protest in the banks was peaceful, and aimed to raise awareness of the need to help the unemployed find work.

The protest follows other rallies in Termini Imerese last week when about 200 car sector workers occupied a tax collection office, the latest in a series of protests targeting the tax agency.

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