Juventus’ signing of Ronaldo for around €112 million ($130 million) has angered workers of Italian automaker Fiat, with the workers vowing to down tools.
The workers at the Fiat Chrysler plant in Italy are preparing to embark on strike after the car company decided to pay Cristiano Ronaldo’s huge amount following his move from Real Madrid to Juventus.
While both the football club and the car-maker are controlled by the Agnelli family through their holding company, the workers are angry because they believe the huge sum spent on Ronaldo would have been better spent investing in Fiat.
The USB (Unione Sindacale di Base) Union, which is leading the strike, said that the Agnellis would have been better served helping the lives of workers, “rather than enriching only one.”
“It is unacceptable that while the (owners) ask workers of FCA… for huge economic sacrifices for years, the same decide to spend hundreds of millions of euros for the purchase of a player,” a statement from the union said.
“The owners should invest in car models that guarantee the future of thousands of people rather than enriching only one,” it added.
Fiat factory workers began to protest the decision on Thursday afternoon by plastering anti-Ronaldo posters on walls of buildings in Pomigliano, Italy.
Daily Mail reports that the strike will begin on Sunday at 10pm local time (9pm UK) and will go through until Tuesday evening at 6pm (5pm UK).
The USB union called for the strike at the Melfi plant (one of seven in Italy) but the impact is expected to may be limited with the union only representing a section of workers for the company.
Ronaldo moved from Real Madrid to Juventus this week. The deal could be worth €300 million ($349 million) when wages are included.
However, football finance expert Rob Wilson, of Sheffield Hallam University, said Juventus should earn more than enough money from Ronaldo to cover the transfer fee and his wages.
He added: “The marketing leverage that Juventus will be able to create will be significant. Added to that the likelihood that he will strengthen the team, it seems plausible that they will be more successful domestically and qualify routinely for the Champions League. That means more sponsors, more TV money and more prize money.”