Italian minister fears ArcelorMittal Italia departure

The Italian minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli has called a meeting with ArcelorMittal Italia and the unions regarding the negotiations with the company for the purchase of former Italian steelmaker Ilva. This is happening amid workers protests and strikes at ArcelorMittal Italia’s Novi Ligure, Genova and Taranto facilities as the company is preparing to lay off 1000 more workers, Kallanish learns from sources close to the matter.

In an interview with local broadsheet La Stampa, Patuanelli said that the company appears to have no intention of staying. There is a significant delay in the industrial plan and unjustified temporary layoffs. These are signals of a possible departure, the minister says.

Due to the coronavirus crisis and the collapse in orders, production levels at the Taranto site remain too low to allow over 600 laid-off workers to return to their jobs. This is on top of 1000 new temporary layoffs. In a letter to the ministry of economic development seen by Kallanish, the unions highlight the reduction to minimum steel output and the stoppage of almost all downstream equipment at the ArcelorMittal Italia plants. They also comment on the delay in investment and the condition of the facilities at the plants. ArcelorMittal Italia would offer no comment on the matter when approached by Kallanish.

ArcelorMittal Italia signed a new agreement with the Italian authorities earlier this year, The settlement contains a clause allowing the company to leave the former Ilva by the end of the current year subject to the payment of defined sum of money.