Taranto workers strike on coronavirus issues

Workers at the former Ilva plant in Taranto have announced a strike until 22 March, a union source representing workers at the site tells Kallanish. The strike started on Friday last week, will last for 10 days and will only involve the Taranto steelworks.

According to the unions, new owner ArcelorMittal Italia has refused to reduce the workforce at the site, and is not taking drastic measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak. “Buses are being used to go to the site and there are only a few protection masks for over 8,000 workers. Changing rooms are being used, it is practically impossible to keep a metre distance when using facilities like the canteen. We believe the company is not applying the rules of the Italian Health ministry,” the source says.

Another Fiom union representative says that the union has written a letter to the authorities regarding the situation. He believes that instead of waiting for the first case of the virus at the plant, the company should reduce the workforce and take the necessary measures to prevent coronavirus spread. He adds that measures can be taken without necessarily stopping production.

A request for comment from ArcelorMittal Italia rmained unanswered before Kallanish publication deadline.