Some Spanish mills halt production

Spanish seamless tube makers, Tubacex and Tubos Reunidos (TR), have joined the growing number of Spanish steel companies halting production due to the coronavirus outbreak, Kallanish notes.

The two companies are closing their plants in Llodio, Amurrio and Trapaga in the Basque Country in a controlled way, local trade union sources reveal.

The measures were initiated by the Tubacex and TR workforces, despite the fact that the two companies had guaranteed all health and safety conditions, unions say. “The most convenient thing was to stop production as a preventive measure. We hope that both companies take advantage of the measures that the Spanish government is taking and that there is no unemployment in this exceptional case,” a workers’ representative comments.

Tubacex has “… shown an attitude both open to dialogue and the search for solutions to maintain production activity, aware of the impact of this decision on the future of the plant and employment in the region,” the company says.

TR, meanwhile, confirmed that has decided to temporarily halt its production plants ahead of the Saint Joseph’s Day, holiday starting 19 March. It also intends to have a conversation with unions during the four-day Basque-country holiday to find the most reasonable way to restart production as soon as possible and reduce any impact on its workers.

Similarly the special steel supplier Sidenor is also halting production this week, at least until the beginning of next week, Kallanish understands.

Spanish-headquartered stainless producer Acerinox has also reportedly taken all necessary steps to maintain production. The company, however, is prepared to cut its output and to take decisions on restrictions according to how the pandemic evolves, trade unions add.