Trade unions call on GFG to be fully transparent amid concerns over European capacities

Monday, 12 February 2024 15:09:51 (GMT+3)   |   Istanbul

Two trade unions IndustriALL Europe and IndustriALL Global, representing UK-based GFG Alliance/Liberty Steel workers have held a crisis meeting to warn against the risk of Europe’s steel production capacities becoming severely damaged and the green steel challenge unmet due to the “irresponsible management” of Sanjeev Gupta, executive chairman of GFG.

Looking at the current situation, the unions stated, “With several blast furnaces idled, production capacity has fallen to alarmingly low levels. More than 20,000 steelworkers in several European continental countries are facing uncertainty. The situation is particularly dire in the Czech Republic, where 6,000 workers at the Ostrava plant are unsure when production will resume, and 30,000 indirect jobs and 117 subcontractors are at risk. The financial toll of the crisis is significant, with millions of euros needed to repair plants, restart production and invest in green steel initiatives.”

As Liberty Steel’s Ostrava plant’s operations in the Czech Republic have largely been idled, trade union actions will be organized on February 22 at the plant to demonstrate the commitment of GFG Alliance workers and workers in the supply chain to fight for the viability of steel production in Europe.

The unions call on Mr. Gupta to provide full transparency about GFG Alliance’s consolidated finances and the specific refinancing plan for Europe, as well as a detailed schedule for production resumption at Liberty Steel’s European plants, and for the European Commission to set up a crisis taskforce on GFG Alliance/Liberty Steel’s case.

Saying that the statement of the trade unions was false and misleading, GFG stated that Liberty Steel’s operations have been affected by high energy prices, high inflation and high imports like all European steelmakers, according to a media report by the Financial Times.