Novamont has reached an agreement regarding its request to activate a Wage Guarantee Fund instrument) at its Terni production site. On 17 June, the plant’s single trade union representation (RSU), FEMCA CISL Umbria, FILCTEM CGIL Terni and UILTEC UIL UMBRIA reviewed the reasons for the company’s request and acknowledged that the conditions justified activating the Ordinary Wage Guarantee Fund.
A special public fund (Cassa Integrazione Guadagni) used to protect workers' income, financed by companies and the state and administered by the National Institute of Social Insurance. In cases laid down by law, the Wages Guarantee Fund makes up the pay of employees affected by lay-offs or short-time working by up to 80 per cent of the lost pay.
The wage guarantee instrument is activated in case of suspension of or reduction in working activities due to temporary events that cannot be ascribed to the company.
The Ordinary Wage Guarantee Fund should not be confused with temporary or permanent layoffs.
Novamont, which produces its Mater-Bi bioplastic at the site in Terni, is reducing its production activities starting 25 July 2022, instead of from 1 July as originally announced. This will apply for a period of four weeks, after which the company hopes to be able to resume production with the entire workforce.
Novamont's decision to temporarily reduce activities at the Terni production plant is due to various negative and distorting factors that have seriously exacerbated an already difficult situation, caused by increases in the prices of raw materials and energy, said the company.
These factors include the exorbitant costs of the Terni polymer site in terms of raw materials and energy costs, the unfair competition from fossil-based products - with a high environmental impact - that are imported below cost from Asia; and widespread flouting of the law, which, as shown in the latest Plastic Consult report for Assobioplastiche Trade Association, has led to around 18,000 tonnes of carrier bags being released on the market, the marketing and production of which are completely banned.
Novamont emphasises, however, that the reductions at the Terni site will in no way affect the delivery of products to its customers, whose contracts will be honoured.
Novamont is a Benefit Company and certified B Corporation. The company is a leading producer of bioplastics and is active in the development of biochemicals and bioproducts through the integration of chemistry, environment and agriculture. With 650 employees, the group has a turnover of approximately 414 million euros and constantly invests in research and innovation (50 million euros in 2021, employing 20% of staff); it holds approximately 1,400 patents and patent applications.