Economy & Politics

“The Dudelange plant will not be able to spend the summer”

Three months after the bankruptcy of the main creditor of the GFC-Alliance group, owner of Liberty Steel, OGBL and LCGB claimed Friday a partial takeover of the state. And this, as quickly as possible in order to save the 220 jobs in the galvanizing plant.

Jean-Michel HENNEBERT

Jean-Michel HENNEBERT

Three months after the bankruptcy of the main creditor of the GFC-Alliance group, owner of Liberty Steel, OGBL and LCGB claimed Friday a partial takeover of the state. And this, as quickly as possible in order to save the 220 jobs in the galvanizing plant.

For the unions, the future of Liberty Steel Dudelange will only depend on state support. If the latter already exists by maintaining activity through recourse to partial unemployment for three quarters of the 220 employees of the site, OGBL and LCGB claim a more lasting involvement. And therefore the implementation of a solution “under the full aegis of SNCI” intended to “build a partnership with a new reliable industrial partner”.



In the midst of a storm due to the bankruptcy of the main financier of their parent company, the Luxembourg site is operating slowly and a majority of staff find themselves on short-time work, the unions indicate.


Clearly, the two unions want the Dudelange plant to leave the bosom of the Anglo-Indian magnate Sanjeev Gupta’s GFC-Alliance group to partially integrate that of the state, via an entry into the capital of the public establishment. If this option is presented by the OGBL and the LCGB as “the only possible alternative” to guarantee the continuation of the activity, no figure as to the sums involved has been put forward.

“The only thing I can say is that our calculations indicate that with the current level of liquidity, the plant will not be able to survive the summer if a solution is not found by July. “, Assures Friday Robert Fornieri, deputy general secretary of the LCGB, which evokes already” a catastrophic situation in the event of rapid absence of solution “. Contacted, the Ministry of the Economy, the supervisory ministry of the SNCI, specifies “to continue to work on this very complex file”.


250 Personen arbeiten bei Liberty Steel in Düdelingen - der Kauf wurde seinerzeit durch die Bank Greensill finanziert.

The government undertakes to provide the Dudelange steel site with the public financial guarantees necessary for its survival. An outstretched hand that the group may seize when its main creditor has just filed for bankruptcy.


Asked about potential future industrial partners, the trade unionist believes that “it is too early to mention names since the analyzes are still in progress”. But the latter does not hide eyeing the industrialists who had come forward when the Luxembourg site was put up for sale in 2019. An operation carried out under European competition rules at the time of the takeover by ArcelorMittal of the Italian site of He goes.

It should be noted that the solution recommended by the Luxembourg unions for Dudelange seems to be in the process of being implemented in Liège, a twin factory of the Grand-Ducal site. According to the Belgian daily La Libre, the Walloon Region should grant a loan intended to allow the maintenance of the activity “for a period of time limited to the duration strictly necessary to organize a procedure of search for buyers”, indicate our colleagues.


Liberty Steel

Franz Fayot returned on Tuesday to the chamber of the Chamber on the situation of the galvanizing plant a few days after having detailed behind closed doors the situation to the members of the Economy committee. With undisguised concern for the 220 or so employees of the site.


In return, the Belgian authorities expect full repayment of this loan and the establishment of a sale procedure by Liberty Steel. For the record, at the end of April, Franz Fayot (LSAP), Minister of the Economy, told the Chamber that he wanted not only that the activity of the Dudelange site be maintained “in the short and medium term, even if the plant is not operating. not at full speed ”but also and above all that it“ remains an integral part of the Luxembourg steel industry ”.


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