Hit by the crisis DB Cargo Italia proceeds to staff layoffs and transfers
With prosperous times seemingly in the past, DB Cargo Italia is making some drastic decisions. The company will lay off and transfer personnel from three terminal locations in northwestern Italy: Domo2, Novara Boschetto and Turin-Orbassano. All three terminals are affected by reduced volumes that jeopardise their future. For instance, the Novara Boschetto terminal will probably close completely.
DB Cargo Italia disclosed its plans during a meeting with the Italian trade unions Filt-Cgil and Uil-Trasporti. The rail freight company’s plans include transferring 27 workers from the Domo2 terminal’s ground staff. Ten will go to the Milan Fiorenza depot, while the remaining seventeen will be transferred to unknown locations. For the Novara Boschetto terminal, which will be shutting down operations, the plan is to move eighteen workers in total. Eleven of them will go to Trenord for eighteen months with the goal of making their move definite. The remaining seven will move to other depots not yet specified.
As for the Turin-Orbassano terminal, this is where layoffs will likely occur. DB Cargo Italia shared with the trade unions that they plan to reduce personnel in this location by 50 per cent. However, they did not discuss the possibility of transferring the ‘redundant’ workers to other locations.
A true crisis
Filt-Cgil and Uil-Trasporti explained that DB Cargo Italia is going through a rough period. The transport company’s main challenges relate to “the sharp drop in volumes, constant cancellations of intermodal services and the loss of state incentives for rail freight companies”. Taking also into account the rising inflation costs and the disruptions that global supply chains, DB Cargo Italia is facing a true crisis that needs to be tackled. Most issues appear in northwestern Italy, where the three terminals are located.
Nevertheless, the trade unions warned that DB Cargo Italia and other companies going through a similar situation should think twice before taking action with their personnel. That is because the region expects significant investments like the upgrade of the Simplon route, the doubling of the Domodossola-Domo2 railway track and other tunnelling and track upgrade works. These investments will help rail freight traffic grow significantly, and the same will apply to volumes in terminals nearby.
“As trade unions, we are strongly opposed to cutting staff despite the period of obvious business downtime; instead, we support the need to retain the highly qualified personnel already in place, in view of the future development”, concluded Filt-Cgil and Uil-Trasporti.