Economy & Politics

Phew of relief after the steel tripartite

No ArcelorMittal site will close in Luxembourg by 2025. This is one of the announcements made at the end of the tripartite meeting between the steel group and the social partners.



No ArcelorMittal site will close in Luxembourg by 2025. This is one of the announcements made at the end of the tripartite meeting between the steel group and the social partners.

3,514 positions currently, but how many tomorrow? The question was in everyone’s mind on Tuesday morning, when a new tripartite meeting began around the future of the steel industry in the Grand Duchy. Or more precisely on the future of ArcelorMittal, which planned to reduce its workforce in Luxembourg by 15%, due to the decline in its order book.

Politik, Tripartite, Chateau de Senningen, Xavier Bettel, Nora Back, Patrick Dury, Sylvain Hoffmann, Dan Kersch, Francois Bausch, foto: Chris Karaba / Luxemburger Wort

A few hours before the Prime Minister’s speech on the probable implementation of new restrictions intended to fight the pandemic, OGBL and LCGB are asking the government for an early meeting compared to the initial schedule.

In the end, there will be no job cuts among the 536 positions in the hot seat. Differdange, Esch-Belval, Rodange, Luxembourg, Esch-sur-Alzette, Bissen but also the mechanical workshop of Dommeldange: each site will be perpetuated is the only steel producer still active in Luxembourg. Maintenance of production or administrative structures recorded until 2025. “I believe that many employees can therefore breathe”, comments the central secretary OGBL, Stefano Araujo at the end of the 2h30 of meetings.

Invest or repay

However, no question for the trade unionist to cry victory, because “work remains to be done”. Because the guarantee of employment and maintenance of units will not be signed until early 2021. Until then, the various signatories will have to carefully study the proposals put on the table. “There will be retirements, early retirement and even early retirement adjustment, notes Stefano Araujo. Nearly 240 employees will be able to benefit from an early departure to mitigate the effects of the restructuring plan “.

But beyond these measures which would include, for the moment, all employees born in or before 1964, it is also a question of limiting the use of outsourcing of certain missions. Enough to preserve about sixty internal positions.

Workers move rolls of aluminum at a factory in Zouping in China's eastern Shandong province on April 7, 2018. China said on April 6 it is ready to pay

Temporarily call on reinforcements from other companies: this choice had been boosted during the first wave of Covid. But it could well experience the same success given the number of infections and quarantines disrupting some companies.

Among the notable advances of this tripartite, we must also remember the commitment of the industrial to invest between 165 and 202.5 million euros. “It is in the average of what was currently done,” notes the OGBL. It will be necessary to ensure that this is well distributed over time, and on all the sites whose industrial project must be redefined one by one ”.

But the OGBL union, the majority in the company, notes with satisfaction the government’s firmness with regard to this promise. “The tone has been firm but the government will demand proof of these investments in the Grand Duchy for the next five years. Otherwise ArcelorMittal will have to reimburse all the public aid granted, ”underlines the central delegate.

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