Ferrari's short sharp strike

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Britain’s car industry was once a byword for dispute; our Latin cousins were more laid-back

Writing about Ferrari elsewhere in this issue I mention industrial unrest. When I visited Ferrari in the 1980s only Britain could rival Italy in this area – but as ever the Italian version was smaller and faster. After a night in Modena our posse of excited motor noters was driven to Maranello, only to be told we could not get in – the men were on strike. and there they were, standing outside the plant pufing cigarettes. Was this the end of our tour? ‘no, ees a small strike – 30 minutes only, and ees going already 10 minutes.’ Sure enough, 20 minutes later the men stubbed out their fags and went back inside, the gates opened and we were escorted in. A pleasantly relaxed way to make a point…

Gordon Cruikshank