Uncertainty and mistrust reign this Wednesday among the 325 workers at ArcelorMittal’s Zumarraga plant, which yesterday announced the “partial cessation of activity” of the factory. Concern because they hardly have data on how the ad will affect them; and misgivings because they believe that it could lead to the total closure of the plant.
The Company Committee, chaired by CC.OO., has announced that it will meet tomorrow with the employees to inform them of what has been transferred by the company management, which already ventured yesterday that the dismissal would imply a relocation offer in other plants of the group to its 325 workers, in addition to the transfer of “production volumes” to other factories.
Leo Bote, president of the works council, has indicated to EiTB that “the priority is the maintenance of industrial activity in Zumarraga”.
The unions with representation in the plant (in addition to CC.OO., there are delegates from ELA, UGT and LAB) see in the announcement the “first step to total closure” of the plant and the decommissioning of the steel sector in Euskadi, which already suffered its first blow two months ago with the “indefinite temporary stoppage” of the ACB factory in Sestao, also owned by ArcelorMittal.
The multinational yesterday began “a 15-day consultation period” with union representatives “in order to establish the social plan associated with this measure of reorganization of production.”
In addition to the 325, the decision affects the almost 600 indirect positions of the plant. ArcelorMittal has two more factories in Gipuzkoa, in Bergara and Olaberria, which in principle are not affected by the plans presented for Zumarraga.
Basque institutions, “impotent”
The mayor of Zumarraga, Mikel Serrano, representatives of the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council and the Minister of Economic Development, Arantxa Tapia, have met this morning to analyze the situation, although they have affirmed that they feel “powerless” in the face of the “inaction” of the Government. Spanish.
Speaking to Radio Euskadi, the spokesman for the Basque Government, Josu Erkoreka, has assured that ArcelorMittal’s announcement has to do with general circumstances such as the dumping of Chinese steel or the price of energy in the Spanish State that “have nothing to do with Arcelor’s responsibility”, but he believes that there are also others ” more specific that they do are directly related to the management that the management has done in Zumarraga.
He also recalled that the management recently reached an agreement with the workers, by which a part of their remuneration was reduced “in exchange for a commitment from the company to continue in activity.”
The Lehendakari, Iñigo Urkullu, for his part, he has described the partial cessation of Zumarraga’s activity as “very bad news”, and has indicated that the Basque Government will work to try to “minimize” the effects of decisions such as the one announced by the group.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.