Fate of ArcelorMittal Fos-sur-Mer also a cause of concern in Italy

Wednesday, 06 May 2020 16:57:27 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

Global steel giant ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in Fos-sur-Mer, near Marseille, France, is scheduled to be shut down by the end of June due to insufficient orders, as reported by local media. ArcelorMittal has "no visibility" beyond June 30 for the plant, where one of its two blast furnaces has already been shut down due to the coronavirus crisis, said ArcelorMittal human resources director Richard Pagnon. The Fos site is running at 50 percent of its capacity at the moment, with one out of two blast furnaces idled since March 23. "We are deploying a lot of commercial efforts, but our market is the Mediterranean automobile industry (Spanish and Italian in particular) which has been hit hard by the health crisis," said Pagnon during a press conference. The Fos-sur-Mer site employs around 2,500 people directly and 1,500 indirectly. It produces black coils, pickled and oiled coils and sheet, cut-to-length sheets, and slit coils.

The news is causing concern not only in France, but also in Italy. The Fos-sur-Mer shutdown "is linked to a cause-and-effect relationship with our market, our productions, and the overall assets of the ArcelorMittal group," said Gianni Venturi, national secretary of Fiom-Cgil, one of Italy's metalworkers' trade unions in a press release. "2,500 workers fear that what happened in the past years at the Florange site could be replicated, where the partial and temporary shutdown of the plants was followed by a definitive shutdown. It is not only a reason of solidarity that binds us to the fate of the 2,500 workers at Fos -Sur-Mer - two thirds of the production of the French plant is destined for the markets of Italy and Spain... in particular, Fos-sur-Mer supplies the Italian sites of Genoa-Cornigliano and of Novi Ligure."

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