IndustriALL, the European trade union federation, has issued a call to all steel sector workers to join the “Action Day” planned for 1 October.
Workers are set to demand that European authorities take all necessary actions to safeguard jobs in the sector, following the negative impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and persistent threat of unfair imports.
“The European steel sector was already suffering, and the Covid-19 pandemic has further deepened the crisis facing European steel workers,” IndustriALL says in a note seen by Kallanish. “Steel production in Europe has reduced by 40% and new orders have been cut by up to 70-75%. This has greatly impacted workers in Europe, and it is estimated that at least 45% of the workforce are subjected to (or are at risk of) temporary layoffs and reduced working.”
However, the impact of Covid-19 has not affected all countries in the same way, with China able to increase production by 1.3% in the first quarter, the federation adds.
The association has regularly voiced its concerns over the threat posed by imports; it was, for example, among the firm supporters of stricter rules for the EU safeguard system. “We cannot allow that Europe becomes dependent on steel imports because steel is and will remain an essential material,” IndustriALL deputy general secretary Luis Colunga said recently. “Europe needs steel to ensure economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and to deliver on its long-term environmental ambitions.”