“In August 2014, machines that the then CEO, Andrea Guerra, fired a few days earlier, had already loaded on a ship bound for China, returned to Agordo, the labels with the ideograms were still there. Del Vecchio had taken over the reins, the climate in the company changed completely, the sense of demobilization returned to confidence and optimism “. The memory is of Paolo Chissalè, historical member of the trade union representatives (RSU), for 42 years an employee of Luxottica, a few hours after the death of Leonardo Del Vecchio, the man who gave life and hope to the Belluno mountain area for decades.
But of him the 4,600 employees of the Agordo plant and the other hundreds in the other two plants in the Belluno and Treviso areas, more than the entrepreneur remember the enlightened man, among the first to introduce particularly advantageous and innovative welfare contracts into the company for the era.
When he turned 80, he wanted to give employees a package of 140,000 treasury shares for a value of approximately 9 million euros. De Vecchio, always out of his pocket, paid for the couriers that still bring the workers from home to the company and vice versa. He gave study holidays to the children of employees, while he guaranteed the company crèche for the little ones. Not to mention the bonus spent to help families. He then invented the ‘generational pact’, that is, 100 Luxottica employees three years after retirement could apply for part time at 50% without any impact on the pension, thus offering as many deserving young people a permanent job.
“This alone explains how much the president had a particular eye for his land and, even if physically he showed up very rarely, it is as if he was always there, going around the departments. Now a season of unknowns is opening up – he adds. Who knows – and I would really like the workers active today only in the Agordo plant to have a vision of the future like the one my generation had, because from today there is objectively a concern “. Even the former mayor, Sisto Da Roit, raises some doubts about the future. “His figure – he says – was an insurance policy, now seeing everything that was set up by del Vecchio managed by others does not contain the same value as an emotional bond. There is a bit of fear but I think the company has shoulders broad enough to allow us to overcome this difficult moment. We hope there are no more negative reflections than we expect. “
You still want to think positively. “I cannot imagine – is the position of Denise Casanova, general secretary of Filctem Cgil in Belluno – that a company structured like Luxottica is linked to the destinies of a single man. Luxottica is now a colossus that cannot not go on without its founder”. Gianni Boato, leader of the Femca Cisl of Belluno Treviso, does not forget how Del Vecchio was an entrepreneur attached to the Belluno area even in sectors other than eyewear. Not later than last spring, in fact, he participated in the Venetian consortium, together with Enrico Marchi’s Finint, Luigi Rossi Luciani’s Sapa and Bruno Zago’s Za-Fin, to save Ideal Standard through its sale to Ceramica Dolomite, in which capital the four had entered.
The death of Del Vecchio is therefore a fundamental point for the entire area. For Lorraine Berton, president of Confindustria Belluno, it is that the death of the founder of Luxottica represents “also a psychological transition, between his employees and throughout the territory. A transition – he continues – that we will have to face with the awareness, however, that the There are great entrepreneurs here. The Belluno area is a territory in mourning – he concludes – and the hope is obviously that Luxottica will never lose adherence with our province “.