Ideal Standard Workers Protest

Today Ideal Standard’s (Italia) employees joined by the three major Italian Union Organizations - Filctem Cgil, Femca Cisl, Uiltec Uil – have executed a protest rally during the event “Together World Tour” produced by the Company. The event also included the participation of several prominent Italian industrial designers and architects such as Palomba Serafini, to whom the Union organizations are asking to push the envelope in recognizing the extraordinary Italian know-how applied not just in the design process but also for the manufacturing sector, and to avoid collaborations and outsourcing in low grade and overall poor labor conditions Countries.

Located in Northern Italy, Ideal Standard (Italia) is a company operating in the Kitchen and Bath products design and manufacturing sector as one of the excellence of Italy. Since years, the company has been subjected to a variety of acquisitions executed by several international private funds currently leads by the Australian-based Anchorage Capital and the British CVC Funds.

The Company is now facing a financial crisis not derived by its ability to perform and be always at the cutting edge of its industry, but because of the too often reckless financial technique well known under the definition of “Leveraged Buyout”. The assets of the company being acquired are often used as collateral for the loans, along with the assets of the acquiring company. This has, in many cases, led to situations in which companies were "over-leveraged", meaning that they did not generate sufficient cash flows to service their debt, again this is not generated by its inability to perform!

Because of that, the employees and the Union Organizations believe the Company is attempting a drastic outsourcing and delocalization plan which will impact more the 500 families mainly living in the small town on Trichiana.

It is also worrying to believe the Company is also attempting to sell one of the most prestigious and historical brand named “Ceramica Dolomite” to fix the balance sheet and continuing the reckless business behaviour that has little in common with a skillful and sustainable business plan, and a lot to do with meaningless financial game.

The Ideal Standard’s employees and the Union Organizations demand the company’s ownership and management to present a comprehensive business plan capable to enhance the tremendous know-how available since more that a century in the Trichiana town and the surroundings.