ArcelorMittal this Tuesday suspended the meeting called in the Biscayan town of to Etxebarri with the unions to negotiate the 440 job cuts What the company intends to do in several plants in Spain. Most of the adjustment will be done at the facility. Asturias. The company justifies the job cuts due to the upcoming replacement of the steel mill. Gijon by a hybrid electric furnace within the decarbonization plans of the Asturian steel company. The postponement of the meeting was attributed to a last-minute agenda change. The session will be held next Wednesday, the 13th, and could last until Thursday.
The unions maintain the position that it is excessive and disproportionate job cuts. The Gijón steel plant employs just over 300 workers. The new facility will require fewer staff due to its greater automation and digitalization, and this may have an effect on other plants.
Since July 2021, it has been known that the partial decarbonization of the Gijón capital will lead to the elimination of 1,000 jobs. The 440 that are now proposed are linked to the first committed investment. The unions demand that the company approve the second and most expensive: the direct reduction iron ore (DRI) furnace to replace a blast furnace. The Government granted aid of 450 million for this plant, but the group has not yet approved itwhich is happening in other manufacturing complexes in Germany, Belgium and France.
The unions demand this investment that would guarantee the integral future of the Asturian plants. And simultaneously they claim the application of the relief contract to satisfy the aspiration of departure of personnel born in 1962 with the entry of replacement personnel, as has been done in recent decades to rejuvenate the workforce. But ArcelorMittal rules out this formula because it would imply maintaining the volume of employment when what it needs is to eliminate 20% of the workforce in Asturias (1,000 of 5,000 jobs) if it finally makes the DRI.
For CCOO, the relief contract is, he said, inalienable. UGT proposes to hire 100 people to improve the situation of the temporary group.
The elimination of 440 jobs will be done through an ERE of extinction with aid, will affect those born in 1962 and 1963 and will be applied in the “Asturias Cluster”, which includes factories Asturias, Sagunto, Etxebarri, Lesaka and Legasa.
The hybrid electric furnace, which will be undertaken through the remodeling and adaptation of the current conventional steelworks in Gijón, will begin its civil work at the beginning of next year and the plant is expected to be operational in the fourth quarter of 2025.
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