IndustriAll calls EU steel workers to action

Thursday, 01 October 2020 14:20:50 (GMT+3)   |   Brescia

European trade union federation IndustriAll has released a call to action for European steelworkers to unite today, October 1, under the banner "Europe needs steel and steel needs Europe!", and to demand urgent action to safeguard the sector and its workers.

IndustriAll explained that the European steel sector, which was already suffering before the Covid-19 outbreak, has seen a further deepening of its crisis due to the pandemic. According to the trade union federation, steel production in Europe has decreased by 40 percent and new orders have been cut by up to 70-75 percent. "This has greatly impacted workers in Europe, and it is estimated that at least 45 percent of the workforce are subjected to (or are at risk of) temporary layoffs and reduced working. However, the impact of Covid-19 has not affected all countries in the same way. While Europe has been suffering, China managed to increase their production by 1.3 percent in the first quarter of 2020," IndustriAll stated.

Judith Kirton-Darling, deputy general secretary for industriAll Europe, said, "Covid-19 has been a disaster for the European steel sector and there are genuine fears that around 50 percent of steelmaking capacity could be lost by the end of this pandemic. This must be avoided, and urgent action is needed to protect European steel workers. European steel is a foundation industry, and it should be part of the foundation of Europe's recovery. We call on European steel workers to mobilise on October 1 and declare ‘Europe needs steel and steel needs Europe'," she concluded.

Actions on October 1 will include manifestations at steel production sites, worker assemblies, works council conferences, press activities, social media campaigns, and meetings with government representatives, parliamentarians and steel sector employers. IndustriAll Europe will meet representatives of the German EU Presidency to present its steel action plan.

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