Press release BoxID: 458446 (International Trade Union House (ITUH))
  • International Trade Union House (ITUH)
  • Boulevard du Roi Albert II, 5 (Bte 10)
  • 1210 Brussels
  • Contact person
  • Linda Rackham
  • +32 (2) 22710-18

No to job losses at ArcelorMittal

Yes to building together the steel industry of tomorrow!

(PresseBox) (Brussels, ) On 24th October 2011, more that 60 European trade union representatives and works Council members from the different production sites of ArcelorMittal in Europe met in Brussels under the auspices of the EMF to express their concerns about the present situation in ArcelorMittal and develop a joint strategy.

Participants clearly rejected ArcelorMittal's current strategy, which focuses mainly on disinvesting from a European core industry to finance acquisitions in mines and plants outside Europe. They opposed a strategy which has a significant impact on employment in the group, and on its subcontractors, and jeopardizes the economic and social cohesion of several regions in Europe. They denounced the fact that decisions are being taken unilaterally - both at national and European levels - without respecting basic information and consultation rights.

Conditions for the long-term viability of the major steel producer in Europe will not be created by idling plants (9 plants are currently mothballed in Europe) and announcing permanent site closures (Liège) and restructuring plans (AMDS and packaging, etc.). On the contrary, this will inevitably lead to a loss of market share. For the EMF affiliates the company's future lies in innovation, R&D to develop the steel products of tomorrow and energy-efficient technologies (especially clean technologies based on CO² capture). Moreover, they called on ArcelorMittal management to engage in a dialogue with unions and workers' representatives at the appropriate level on a possible distribution of production which will ensure fair development for all and a fair sharing of the burden.

The trade union participants reaffirmed their commitment to a Europe-wide unified and coordinated response vis-a-vis central management and agreed to:

- Approach national and European politicians to engage in a debate on how to ensure the viability of the steel industry in Europe.
- Develop a communication strategy towards employees, sub-contractors and local and regional authorities and actors.
- Organise a European Action Day shortly to voice protest against ArcelorMittal's strategy and raise awareness of the trade union alternatives to ensuring the long-term viability of the European sites.
- Set up a task force to further develop the trade union alternatives to the current strategy pursued by the ArcelorMittal management.

The EMF affiliates are firmly committed to joining forces to defend and develop the European steel industry.

The EMF is the representative body defending the interests of workers in the European metal industry. The EMF has a mandate for the external representation and coordination of the metalworkers' unions and a mandate to engage in bargaining at European level.