The paper deals with the recent changes in labour organization as well as in industrial relations related to the introduction of the World Class Manufacturing programme in Fiat Auto Group plants. In particular, we use data from a recent research on the Fiat plant in Melfi to show the impact of these changes on working conditions, labour relations, drawing attention on management strategies to improve workers’ commitment, participation and involvement. As far as the outcomes, it emerges that although the Wcm introduces some improvements and innovations as opposed the previous idea of the Japanese lean factory, it clearly appears a strong relation with tayloristic principles such as the increasing importance of standards, methods, time as well as an increasing managerial control over the workers. This led to a crucial role of human resource management strategies and good industrial relations to prevent conflicts and to achieve workers’ consensus in implementing the new organization and the new rules.
Keywords: Labour, industrial relations, Fiat, human resource management, industrial workers