New Ilva agreement lacks clarity, say unions

Italian unions of ArcelorMittal Italia have expressed concern over amendments made to the agreement between ArcelorMittal and Italian authorities on the future of the former Ilva group.

Earlier this week ArcelorMittal agreed with the former Ilva commissioners to amend the existing lease and purchase agreement (see Kallanish 5 March).

A union member tells Kallanish the government’s strategy regarding environmental issues, as well as industrial and workforce perspectives, is not clear. The new industrial plan risks being unsustainable considering it has earmarked less investment than previously into improving vertical integration of tube and re-rolled products output.

Unions have also expressed concern regarding the lack of clarity over the new financial commitment of ArcelorMittal, the role of banks and the public investor, and the mixed BF/EAF production plan. Unions believe the new agreement does not guarantee employment of 12,500 workers.

The amendments are structured around a new industrial plan for Ilva, which involves investment in lower-carbon steelmaking technologies. The core of the new industrial plan is the construction of a direct reduced iron facility to be funded and operated by third-party investors and an EAF to be constructed by AM InvestCo.

In addition, AM InvestCo and Ilva’s commissioners have entered into a separate settlement agreement. AM InvestCo has thereby agreed to revoke its notice to withdraw from the original agreement and Ilva’s commissioners agreed to withdraw their request for an injunction, which was scheduled to be heard in the Civil Court of Milan on 6 March.

In the event the investment agreement is not executed by 30 November 2020, AM InvestCo has a withdrawal right, subject to an agreed payment, ArcelorMittal says.

A new agreement with trade unions has to be signed as a condition to the final closing of the lease and purchase agreement now scheduled by May 2022, the source says.