ArcelorMittal Italia announced that the number of maintenance and operational workers will be reduced, resulting in the shutdown of all galvanizing lines at the Genoa and Taranto plants, according to metalworkers’ unions on Sep 18.
Local metalworkers’ trade unions Fim, Fiom, Uilm and Usb expressed that this move will increase the risk of serious accidents with repercussions for workers, citing a recent failure on conveyor belt (D26) in early September.
Rocco Palombella, Uilm general secretary, declared that ArcelorMittal’s actions were another “provocative act” against workers and trade unions which created a conflict by placing responsibility for the shutdown of the Taranto site on workers.
Usb trade union representatives went further by stating that the situation was now “explosive and no longer manageable” and that the silence of the government suggests they are “incapable or, even worse, complicit”.
Palombella claimed the government was responsible for this situation given that workers and trade unions had never reacted raised alarm about ArcelorMittal’s failure to intervene on safety, environment, and investment.
ArcelorMittal Italia’s Taranto steelworks has an installed capacity of 11mn mt of crude steel per year and operates four blast furnaces. The Genoa plant can produce around 1.5mn mt of finished products using hot-rolled steel made by Taranto’s integrated steelworks, such as electrolytic tinplate and chrome plate.