The works committee of the ACB of Sestao will transfer to the workers’ assembly the minutes of the meeting held this Monday with Arcelor, which includes modifications of the company to its social plan, specifically the withdrawal of the salary reduction and the maintenance of the current one ERE complement.
The company and committee have addressed Arcelor’s industrial proposal again after the company has rejected, for “non-viable” the alternative plan that the representative body of the workforce proposed last week.
According to union sources, it will be the workers who, in an assembly, must validate or reject the alternative. If rejected, Arcelor has expressed its intention to close the plant, and to reopen at the end of July under the conditions outlined if supported.
Arcelor and the ACB works council met this Monday morning after the committee presented an alternative industrial plan to that of the company that proposed to produce between 70,000 and 80,000 tons, counting for it with all staff of the ACB and the contractors.
The company plan foresees to produce 10,000 tons working only some weekends. This proposal was accompanied by a social plan that included halve the workforce and a 15% pay cut.
During the meeting, Arcelor has transferred its rejection of the union proposal considering that “it has no viability”. After insisting on applying its industrial plan, the representatives of the company have proposed to withdraw the 15% salary reduction from the social plan as well as the reduction of 65% of the complement of the ERE that it intended.
The works council will transfer the proposed changes to the workers’ assembly, so that they can “vote if it seems good or bad,” according to the same sources. If the proposal is accepted, the “start-up” procedures for the factory would begin and, if not, “the company would proceed to close.”
Voting, this Tuesday
The workers of the Compact Steelworks of Bizkaia are holding a meeting this Tuesday morning to decide whether or not to accept the new plan proposed by the company to reopen the plant, after the latest modifications introduced by Arcelor.
The modifications refer mainly to the Social Plan, where the company has decided to withdraw the 15% salary cut, although it maintains its intention to reduce the workforce by half. This social plan is accompanied by an industrial plan that contemplates reopening the plant in July to produce 12,000 tons per month with a workforce of around 140 workers.
ELA and LAB already expressed their rejection of the company’s new approach on Monday, while CC.OO. and UGT committed to transferring the plan to the workers’ assemblies so that they can decide whether or not to accept the proposal.
This Tuesday, the workers have already met in an assembly and, after an explanation of the latest proposal, throughout the morning they will decide whether to accept Arcelor’s new plan.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.