This article was taken from yahoo which referred to the ANSA news agency.
AFP - 29 minutes ago
ROME (AFP) - Talks broke down on Tuesday between nine unions representing Alitalia employees and Air France-KLM, which wants to buy the near-bankrupt Italian airline, the ANSA news agency reported.
The unions rejected plans by the European aviation giant to slash 1,600 jobs from the 11,000-strong work force, ANSA said, adding that they sought a new meeting with Air France-KLM boss Jean-Cyril Spinetta, but no date was set.
"The Air France-KLM group is not here to buy Alitalia but to see if it is possible, with the personnel of Alitalia, to take part in the creation of a major group with a global reach," Spinetta told union leaders, according to a communique.
"With your contribution, Alitalia will be able to restore its profitability," Spinetta said, as criticism swirled over the conditions set by Air France-KLM for the takeover.
The French-Dutch company requires the unions' green light by March 31 for the deal to go through.
Spinetta reportedly warned earlier that his company could walk away from the deal, accepted Monday by the Italian government.
"We are certainly not obliged to acquire Alitalia," Spinetta said, according to a labour leader who was present at the talks.
Other union sources told ANSA that Spinetta had said the takeover proposal "may seem painful" but that Alitalia could "take off within a big European group, as was the case for KLM."
Italy's outgoing centre-left government, which owns 49.9 percent of the financially strapped Italian company, on Monday approved the acquisition through a share swap of one Air France-KLM share for every 160 Alitalia shares.
The result would value the Italian airline at 140 million euros (218 million dollars).
The talks at Alitalia headquarters on Tuesday began shortly after a group of protesters trying to enter the building clashed with police, leaving one demonstrator slightly injured, police told AFP.
Some 350 demonstrators including employees of AZ Servizi, the maintenance unit that would be shut down under the takeover deal, had gathered outside the venue hours earlier.
A second demonstration was staged at Rome's Fiumicino airport.
Also Tuesday, Italian Transport Minister Alessandro Bianchi voiced strong opposition to the bid.
"More than an offer," the Air France-KLM proposal is like "a diktat full of vexing clauses, to the point of being beyond unacceptable and casting doubt on the real intentions," Bianchi said in a report carried by ANSA.
If anyone wants to read the original article can go on: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/afp/2008031...irline-unions-company-5268574.html