IndustriALL, the European association of trade unions, has issued a letter calling for the European Union to develop a new steel action plan, taking into account the Covid-19 pandemic.
European authorities previously approved a steel action plan in 2013. This touched on many important aspects including a level playing field and the supply of raw materials. “It certainly supported the recovery of the steel industry at the time,” IndustriALL says in a note seen by Kallanish. “However, European steel production is again in a very critical situation and we need a new European Steel Action Plan to tackle today’s challenges, paying special attention to the impact of Covid-19.”
Unions believe the centre of the new plan should be support for a “greener” and sustainable European steel industry. “Our key demands include the need to invest in European steel plants and the decarbonisation of the sector, ensuring fair international trade and implementing fair trade defence measures as well as ending global overcapacity. Crucially, the recovery of the European steel industry will depend on its workforce,” the association notes.
The call from IndustriALL comes at a crucial time for the sector, as many European governments are discussing potential support to key steelmakers.