ArcelorMittal Italy presents new industrial plan, unions oppose

ArcelorMittal has presented a new possible industrial plan to the Italian authorities to continue operating the former Ilva plants in Taranto and across Italy. The trade unions involved have immediately opposed the proposal and called for a strike at the plants next week.

The steelmaker said during a meeting with the Italian authorities that it would cut almost 5,000 jobs during the next three years. The first cuts would be in 2020 while the remainder would be in 2023 when the company proposes to idle blast furnace No. 2 and launch an electric arc furnace at the Taranto site.

The local minister for economic development confirmed in a video interview that ArcelorMittal is also targeting the production of 6 million tonnes/year of steel by 2023 using both blast furnaces and a new EAF. The minister added that the Italian government envisages production of 8 million tonnes/year for the Taranto site with the use of BF, EAF and DRI. He said that the Italian government will present a plan for the site next week.

The unions have sent a statement saying the new plan is not acceptable and are calling for a strike at the sites on Tuesday next week.

ArcelorMittal signed a deal with the Italian government in September 2018 agreeing to maintain, among other things, job numbers at above 10,000 and to push crude steel production to 8m t/y by 2024. Since then however many things have changed and the company is currently moving forward to cancel its contract and to return the assets to the local administrators (see Kallanish passim).