Unions in Italy have been taking strike action and holding protest demonstrations against 550 job losses and pay cuts of 10% at the at the Terni steel mill, in southern Umbria owned by the German multi-national metals and engineering company ThyssenKrupp.
The company are closing the AST stainless steel plant, one of the most modern stainless steel plants in Europe. ThyssenKrupp blames on the poor state of the market and structural oversupply. Italy is Europe’s second largest steel producer after Germany.
The Terni site, 100 km from Rome, is a major employer in the Umbria region and a main supplier of materials for the car, construction and manufacturing industries.
The plant has been sold twice in the past four years and is likely be put up for sale again said union and industrial sources said.
Following strike action by the workforce, on July 31st after breaking through a police cordon workers from the plant blockaded Italy’s A1 motorway at Orte. The unions also ‘laid siege’ of the offices of the company.
Unions say that in the company’s industrial plan there is no mention of investment. They also say that the CEO of the company proposed the new business plan without proper social dialogue with unions and the workforce.
The Italian Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi was forced to step in and following a meeting with the company CEO the company suspended their plan until a meeting has taken place on September 4th.
Gianni Alioti, of the trade union confederation Fim-Cisl said the meeting is as a result of the “extraordinary mobilization implemented by workers and trade unions”.