Italian media reported that ArcelorMittal Italia has announced on January 7 to local unions that its plate mill at its Taranto facilities will be restarted by mid January, while a converter and a continuous caster, along with blast furnace No 2 will be restarted by the end of the month in Taranto after being stopped last spring. As a result, daily steel production will thus rise from 10,000 tonne to 14,000 tonnes. However, media reports said that the reactions of trade unions were not positive with Unione Sindacale di Base fearing that production numbers will soon fall again. USB believes that with the restart of blast furnace No 2, blast furnace No 4 will be halted as it presents absolutely precarious structural conditions and therefore previous situation will return.
According to media reports ArcelorMittal Italia closed 2020 with an annual production of 3.3 million tonnes, it’s lowest ever.
In the meantime, temporary layoffs due to Covid-19 started on January 4 for another twelve weeks for all employees at the Taranto plant, which may affect up to a maximum of the entire workforce, or 8,132 direct employees. The company has communicated to the workers trade unions that due to the persistence of the reduction in work activity attributable to the epidemiological emergency situation from the COVID 19 virus in place at national level, it is forced, in spite of a further twelve weeks for the recourse to the CIGO with the reason for COVID 19 EMERGENCY. The suspension will affect the personnel specified by category and related units for 12 weeks, starting from 4.01.2021.