Italy bottle cap tycoon leaves workers $2.3m in will

ROME (AFP) - Workers at an Italian factory were delighted by an unexpected Christmas bonus, receiving cheques for thousands of euros bequeathed to them by their late boss who died in June, reports said Saturday (Jan 9).

Mr Piero Macchi, the founder of Enoplastic, which produces screwcaps, synthetic corks and labels for drinks bottles, quietly changed his will shortly before he died, leaving staff at the company's Bodio Lomnago plant in the Italian Alps a total of 1.5 million euros (S$2.36 million).

"It was all managed by his wife Carla, my mother, who sent a touching letter of thanks with each of the cheques," Mr Macchi's daughter Giovanna, the current joint manager of Enoplastic, told Corriera della Sera newspaper.

The cheques landed just before Christmas, with new staff receiving 2,000 euros and the oldest staff 10,000 - and some workers got even more when Mr Macchi knew they needed it.

Mr Macchi, a lover of both good wine and machinery, turned a hobby into a lucrative business when he founded Enoplastic in 1957 - the company now produces 2.5 billion units a year and exports to more than 80 countries.

"We always think of ourselves as a big family and this Christmas present is a sign of that," one worker told the Varese News newspaper.