The red carpet for a parade of fashion workers about to be laid off is a quite an unusual sight in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, one of the most famous luxury shopping streets in the world. Because it is at odds with the cloying glamor of Milan, which sells fashion. And because the Italian fashion industry will grow by 1.4 percent this year, one point less than in 2015 but still twice as fast as the Italian economy (with total annual sales of €83.6 billion).
But not all that glitters is a sequin. Just ask the workers of the Roberto Cavalli fashion house — taken over a year ago by the Clessidra Capital Partners, a private equity firm — who are protesting against a harsh restructuring plan.
The one-hour strike Wednesday in front of the Milanese headquarters of the company came after the eight-hour walkout of last Friday. The unions Filctem Cgil, Cisl and Femca Uiltec declared: “The most affected office is Florence, where there were 39 layoffs in December. A quarter of the employees are affected by redundancy — 77 employees of 280, of which 75 percent are women, with an average age of 40 — and the press department will be eliminated. The plan also provides for the closure of the Milan office, their relocation to Sesto Fiorentino and the overall headcount reduction to 372 Italian employees.”