Liberty increases third-quarter Europe output

Liberty Steel’s European units continued to improve performance in the third quarter, while its Ostrava mill has managed to reach an agreement with unions on new wages from 2022.

The Czech plant’s production was similar on-quarter but up 60% versus Q2 2020. The steelworks is in the process of evaluating final tenders from potential suppliers of the two hybrid furnaces it will use to drastically cut carbon emissions.

After seven rounds of intensive negotiations, meanwhile, the plant and trade unions agreed on an amendment to the collective agreement for 2022, which will see wages increase 6.2% from January. Staff will also receive a one-time bonus for extraordinary financial results of CZK 25,000 ($1,111) per employee.

Earlier this year Ostrava unions protested and threatened legal action over fears that the steelmaker selling its carbon emissions allowances to Romanian sister plant Galati will put the Czech plant’s production at risk (see Kallanish passim). The profit from this sale amounted to CZK 260 million, of which CZK 134m was paid to employees as a reward for the 70th anniversary of the founding of the steelworks.

The Galati steelworks meanwhile increased Q3 production by 20% year-on-year. By the end of 2021 the firm will have hired almost 650 new employees this year, with 100 new roles created by increased production, as well as ‘greensteel’ transformation digitalisation and automation projects.

Adam Smith Germany