Husqvarna is moving to Austria in October
The communication by the owners: "Husqvarna and Husaberg are merging." Within four months, the production will continue in Mattighofen
Rain and bad news are beating down on Husqvarna. The employees, who gathered at the entrance to the company, were holding letters in their hands, the latest communication from the new owners, which said "Husqvarna and Husaberg to merge." It was a good title, one that almost made you hope for a positive outcome to the events of the Biandronno-based motorcycle company, but at the end of the communication, there was the phrase, “Starting from October 2013, the new company "Husqvarna Sportmotorcycle GmbH", with headquarters in Mattighofen (Austria), will be fully operational in the production and selling of the new range to the entire network of dealers and Husqvarna and Husaberg.”
The statement explained that the Pierer Group (KTM) had decided “to merge what had begun from common roots 25 years ago. In other words, the merger of Husqvarna’s rich tradition with Husaberg’s refined technology will lead to a new era of great success for the Husqvarna brand.”
And so, the headquarters in Biandronno will close, and, starting from June, the extraordinary redundancy payments for 212 employees (according to the company’s application, despite the total number of employees being 242) will begin. These payments will continue for one year, and then stop.
“We’ve stopped living,” said Elvira Ratti, the FIM CISL joint trade union representative. “By their own admission, the operation is expected to be at zero cost to the owners, and any of the twelve thousand motorbikes, still in the warehouse, that are sold will further boost their coffers."
According to the workers, the intention of the owners, the Pierer Group (KTM), after they have done away with their nobler competitor, is to realise as much as possible with what remains of the company in Biandronno. "Even if they sold the motorbikes below cost, at a paltry price, for example, €3000,” said one employee, “they would take in €36 million. And we, the workers, would see nothing of that sum, or of the value that we created. And then there’s the false prospect of a transfer, for anyone that wants to work in Austria. We can’t commute to Austria; we’ve got mortgages and homes here, this is where our lives are."
"We workers continue to hope and we’re never quitting,” concluded one employee, Elisa Molteni. “This communication is another blow, because they’re squeezing us so much in order to get everything they can, regardless of what’s going on here, to the people who work in this company and who made this brand great. "
The Pierer Group communication letter has come on the eve of the meeting, on May 22 in Rome, at the Ministry of Production Activities. It is a slap that the Austrians could have done well without.