ArcelorMittal Italia discussions continue as deadline approaches

Italian prime minister Conte is to meet with Lakshmi Mittal before an upcoming 7 February deadline for ArcelorMittal Italia, according to sources close to the matter. That is when the Italian judiciary will rule on the right of ArcelorMittal to withdraw from its contract to run the former Italian steelmaker Ilva.

Trade unions at the site tell Kallanish that they have not yet been asked to be part of the negotiations regarding possible reductions in the workforce. Meanwhile, and following the swift change of ceo in autumn 2019, the company is implementing other management changes. It is replacing its chief operations officer Stefan Van Campe with Loris Pascucci and naming Domenico Ponzio as the new chief purchasing officer (see Kallanish 28 January). This action is seen by unions and the local press as another sign of retreat from Italy, also accelerated by the struggling market situation often highlighted by ArcelorMittal.

Italian Minister of Economy Roberto Gualtieri is rumoured to have met with Lakshmi Mittal on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Conte is said to havecalled an evening meeting in Rome after this, although details of both events remain unsubstantiated. Despite government officials working hard to conclude an agreement before 7 February, the main issue surrounds any job cuts. According to reports as yet unconfirmed by the company, ArcelorMittal would be willing to retain its interest in the steelmaker. This is on the proviso that it can cut 3000 jobs and that the Italian government also invests in the relaunch of the former Ilva operations, Kallanish hears.