ArcelorMittal announces 1,400 temporary layoffs at its Taranto plant

Friday, 07 June 2019 12:52:42 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia
       

ArcelorMittal Italia said this week it will temporarily resort to temporary redundancies of 1,400 employees at its Taranto-based plant. "The suspensions - says a document delivered by the company to local metalworkers' unions - will run from 1 July 2019 for the next thirteen weeks. At present it is possible to envisage a recovery of the market and of downstream demand during this period, therefore the decision is subject to verification of the need for any extension pursuant to current legislation".

The reasons that led to this decision are the same as those given by the ArcelorMittal top management both on May 6th and at the end of the same month. "To date - the multinational company explained - there is an important reduction in the consumption of steel at European and even Italian level, which has led to a gradual lowering of orders and, therefore, of work".

The provision will see the temporary total shutdown or reduction of travel in some plants, such as the continuous casting 5 (Primary Area), the Strip Train 1 and the cold rolling mill (Finishing Area), as well as the functional areas for the running of the same plants, such as central maintenance workshops, staff, utilities and logistics.

"It's a difficult decision - says Matthieu Jehl, managing director of ArcelorMittal Italy - but market conditions are really critical throughout Europe. I want to reiterate that these are temporary measures, as steel is a cyclical market".

ArcelorMittal then proposed the date of June 11 "for a meeting to be held with workers' unions in order to provide further clarification". But local unions have already "forcefully rejected the procedure - wrote Fim Cisl, Fiom Cgil and Uilm Uil in a joint note -. We invite the Minister of Economic Development, who is the guarantor of the agreement that was signed on September 6,2018, to urgently call a special meeting to verify the complete application of such agreement". Minister Luigi Di Maio's reaction was not slow to arrive. "I am tired of companies that sign agreements and then don't keep it - he said on June 6th -. We will meet next week. They [ArcelorMittal] must keep to the agreements".

Despite the very critical scenario, ArcelorMittal Italia reaffirmed its commitment to all the actions planned to comply with the industrial and environmental plan. At the end of these actions, thanks to an investment of over €2.4 billion, the Taranto-based plant aims to become the most advanced and sustainable integrated steel hub in Europe.


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