The company, which is owned by luxury group Kering, made a recent decision to transfer 153 of the 219 Rome-based employees to Milan, where the group opened a new headquarters earlier this year.

However, the employees say that they have not been given proper adjustments to the new location, such as increased salaries to accommodate a higher cost of living in Milan.

One anonymous trade union rep said that they tried to speak to human resources at Gucci but have not received a response, calling the move a “collective dismissal in disguise”.

One employee told Euronews Culture: “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. 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.”

The move is due to take place on March 1, 2024, but employees are protesting and seeking support from politicians in order to make a change. MPs Nicola Fratoianni and Franco Mari raised the issue in the country’s lower house, requesting an intervention from the government.

The dispute is expected to affect Gucci’s fashion show in January, which is planned to be the first Autumn/Winter collection for new Creative Director Sabato De Sarno.

Gucci has responded, with a statement saying: “Regarding the protests related to the transfer of the Design Office from Rome to Milan, Gucci confirms that this transfer was announced to trade unions in early October. It does not involve any staff reductions and will be carried out in full compliance with current regulations.

“In this regard, the company has introduced a set of measures, encompassing both economic incentives and active support, designed to facilitate the relocation of all employees involved. These measures are notably more favourable than those stipulated in the Italian national collective agreement.

“With the move 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 maximising the necessary interactions and synergies.”

Source: Euronews Culture