Gucci designers stage first ever strike over relocation to Milan

Gucci staff stage a cat-walkout! Fashion house’s designers stage their first ever strike over decision to move them from Rome to Milan

  • Employees say they have been ‘forced to relocate to Milan with no alternatives’
  • The company claims the move will allow teams to work more closely together 

Designers at Gucci’s fashion house in Rome went on strike yesterday, rallying against the company’s decision to move its design office from the Italian capital to Milan.

Workers claim the decision to move 153 of 219 employees 400 miles north by March next year amounts to dismissal for many with ties to the city. 

Protestors were seen outside their offices on Monday wielding banners that read: ‘Gucci cuts but doesn’t sew’ and ‘At Gucci, redundancy is fashionable’. 

Around 50 took part in the four-hour strike on Monday, marking the first industrial action by creative professionals in Gucci’s 102-year history.

Union reps claim Gucci’s French owner, Kering, is restructuring to slash staff in a move that will inevitably push out those with responsibilities in the capital.

Illustrative image shows a Gucci store in Rome on the via dei Condotti, April 25, 2011 

Gucci relayed the decision to unions back in October, saying it would look to move nearly 70 per cent of staff in Rome to Lombardy by March next year.

But Labour union CGIL’s regional office said Gucci’s decision was not supported by objective reasons, making hard not to think the real goal was to cut staff.

They have urged the company to reconsider. Federica Ricci, the regional secretary at Filctem-CGIL, said: ‘For us, this is a collective dismissal because not everyone has been offered the conditions to allow for a transfer, so many people will lose their jobs.’

Gucci disagreed, a spokesman urging telling Reuters the transfer ‘does not involve any staff reductions’.

‘With the relocation to Milan, the creative director and the different teams involved will have the opportunity to collaborate closely with the strategic functions of the company already based in the city, thus maximizing the necessary interactions and synergies’, he added.

A trade union rep told Euro News they had struggled to communicate with Gucci to resolve the dispute. 

‘We have tried to speak to Gucci’s HR, but have not received any response,’ one said.

‘We’ve been living in anxiety for months after seeing estate agents and prospective buyers come to the Rome offices, but our fears were confirmed after the summer holidays,’ an employee told the outlet. 

‘We were forced to relocate with no alternatives being provided for us here in Rome. I have built my life here and have bought my house — this leaves me in a very difficult position.’ 

Following the departure of creative director Alessandro Michele in 2022, Gucci owner Kering changed the label’s top management, as it seeks to reignite sales momentum at its largest brand.

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