Trade union members at the BMG Ricordi offices in Rome have expressed concern on the consequences of the Sony BMG merger in Italy.

Trade union members at the BMG Ricordi offices in Rome have expressed concern on the consequences of the Sony BMG merger in Italy.

In a statement released yesterday (Feb. 17), "la rappresentanza sindacale unitaria" ("unitary union representation") states that the merger will lead to dramatic cuts in personnel.

It also claims that the amalgamation will reduce the company's Rome office to "a mere outpost of the Milan operations, thereby depriving it of its creative and decision-making role."

BMG Ricordi was created when BMG acquired indie label Ricordi in 1994. It is the only Italian major that is headquartered in Rome. Sony, Universal, EMI and WEA all have their main offices in Milan, with smaller representative offices in Rome. BMG Ricordi currently has 76 employees in Rome and 25 in Milan.

According to the union, the restructuring of the company will be effective on June 1, with the Rome offices expected to bear the brunt of the cuts.

The new Sony BMG Italy is run by Milan-based former Sony Music Italy president and CEO Franco Cabrini, who was appointed on Oct. 1. Rome-based BMG Ricordi's president/CEO Adrian Berwick left the company at the same time.

The BMG Ricordi trade union's statement describes the impending cuts as "another example of the Italian musical scene having to endure the effects of globalization, with impoverishment in terms of both employment and culture. This time round it is the city of Rome that has to pay the price."

Sony BMG Entertainment Italy's management declined to comment on the union's statement.