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Strikes and protests, Italian metalworkers will not give in

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Report. Pressure is mounting on the Conte government as the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal is demanding layoffs and immunity from environmental protections to buy the ILVA steel plant in Taranto. Conte has refused the requests as unions call for further strikes.

written by Gianmario Leone

Topic Italy


November 8, 2019

At noon Wednesday, the metalworkers’ unions in Taranto, Italy, announced they were going their separate ways. While FIM CISL was unwilling to agree to further delay and called for an immediate 24-hour strike for the whole metalworking industry, FIOM and UILM took a step back, waiting for news from the meeting at Palazzo Chigi in Rome between the prime minister and the managers of ArcelorMittal regarding the ILVA crisis before deciding what action to take, as had been agreed on Tuesday at the ILVA factory council.

However, FIM CISL pushed ahead regardless, and its strike got a high rate of participation, enough to block the operations of Steel Plant 1, with only one caster out of five in working condition. To make sure that automated supply chains would not be disrupted, ArcelorMittal took forceful measures and decided that 80 workers would be enlisted to ensure mandatory minimum staffing for the equipment pertaining to the departments involved in the strike. The mandatory minimum staffing (which is a binding requirement for the workers concerned, according to........

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