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Business Words in the News
Friday 11 October 2002
Vocabulary from the business news. Listen to and read the report then find explanations of difficult words below.

  Workers at the Fiat's Termini Imerese plant
Fiat to cut jobs
Summary: The Italian car maker Fiat is to temporarily lay off 8,000 workers, as part of a plan to reduce debts. The company has asked the Italian government for financial help to fund a scheme that will give displaced staff 80% of their salaries for a year. This report from Mark Gregory.
The News Listen  
  Fiat is Italy's biggest manufacturing company. Its car making division is on course to make a loss of a billion dollars this year, after a big slump in sales in the home Italian market.

To tackle the crisis, Fiat has told trade unions that it plans to shed about a fifth of the total workforce. A factory in Sicily is likely to be worst affected, though job cuts are expected at most of Fiat's six major Italian plants. Displaced workers will lose their jobs for at least a year.

The company wants the government to declare a state of crisis, opening the way for state aid to pay workers 80% of normal wages. The 8,100 job cuts will start in December.

Fiat will also step up the release of new car models and streamline its operations as part of measures to tackle the crisis. But the company has discouraged speculation that the American car maker General Motors is poised to take full control. GM already owns a 20% stake in Fiat's car division, and has an option to buy the rest after January 2004.

Mark Gregory, BBC, London

The Words Listen
  car making division
department that produces cars

  on course to
if something is on course to happen, it is expected to happen

  slump in sales
sudden reduction in sales

take action to try to solve

if an organisation sheds jobs, it makes a number of its employees redundant

  the total workforce
all the people who work there

  displaced workers
here, workers who are forced to leave their jobs

  step up

  streamline its operations
make itself more efficient (by stopping any activities considered to be unnecessary)

  is poised to
is ready to

  Read more about this story  

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