Acciaierie d'Italia partially at standstill, unions demand explanations

Wednesday, 20 October 2021 13:50:05 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

Italy-based steelmaker Acciaierie d'Italia announced yesterday, October 19, to labor unions that the restart of blast furnace No. 4 at the Taranto steel plant has been postponed for a few days due to technical problems. This was reported by local union Fim Cisl, which specified that yesterday BFs Nos. 1 and 2 were stopped simultaneously for about five to six hours for restoration of some gas pipes. There were also slowdowns at Steel Plant No. 2, while Steel Plant No. 1 was stopped and will be operational again when the blast furnaces are restarted.

BF No. 4 was stopped two weeks ago for "plant engineering reasons", as communicated by the company. However, at the time the suspension of activity was forecast to last only 24-36 hours.

The local unions are demanding more explanations. "Today, we are asking Acciaierie d'Italia to meet us immediately in order to understand what is happening at the steel plant. Currently, part of the factory is at a standstill. With the shutdown of important facilities, the plant risks another production decrease during a phase when the steel market is seeing strong growth," Francesco Brigati of Fiom Cgil stated.

"Out of the three blast furnaces in operation, we have two, i.e., BF No. 1 and BF No. 2, which were stopped temporarily for a short time, while we still cannot understand what is happening with BF No. 4. The company does not communicate anything to us and that is why we are asking for a meeting, because such a stop causes a whole other series of impacts on the people who are at work. There is talk, for blast furnace No. 4, of technical issues, but, if the hypothesis of a problem in the crucible of the plant corresponds to the truth, this would mean very serious difficulties, because we would face a long stop," the union official added.

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