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Workers strike at ArcelorMittal European sites
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Saturday, 09 Feb 2013

Reuters reported that thousands of workers were staging strikes and demonstrations on Wednesday at European plants of ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steelmaker, in what unions said was a protest against job insecurity.

The European Metalworkers Federation said strikes ranging from two hours per shift to a 24 hour walkout would take place at plants in Belgium, France and Luxembourg, with stoppages also expected in Italy, Spain and at some sites in Germany.

Belgian unions said there were 40,000 people at the demonstration in the Belgian town of Liege on Wednesday.Mr Eric de Deyn, spokesman for the BBTK union said “There are not just steelworkers here today, there are also workers from other sectors, both industry and services, who are on strike. All shops in the city centre are closed out of solidarity with the workers of ArcelorMittal."

ArcelorMittal said 24 hour production halts were limited to plants in Luxembourg, Belgium and one in France but had no major impact on output, as the sites affected had already been partially idled. ArcelorMittal's media relations head Mr Giles Read said “The furnaces at all of these plants are idled, they have some cold phase going on, but they are not actually producing steel.”

The company announced in October that it would permanently end liquid-phase steel production at its site in Liege, given over-capacity and a slow recovery in the European market. The group also idled blast furnaces in Florange in France and Eisenhuettenstadt in Germany.

Source – Reuters


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