The Sestao ACB will stop its production in the coming weeks



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The committee assures that the stop is due to the rejection by the union representatives to “organizational changes”. The management, on the other hand, affirms that it obeys a series of improvement works to reduce CO2 emissions.

The Compact Steelworks of Bizkaia (ACB) of Sestao, from the ArcelorMittal group, will stop its production in the next few weeks and until early 2022, as announced by both the works council and the management. However, both sources have offered different reasons to explain the stop.

Representatives of UGT, CC. OO., LAB and ELA, components of the committee, have assured in a statement that the stop is due to rejection union to “organizational modifications” raised by the company.

The committee has expressed its “total rejection” of the causes alleged by the company to justify the shutdown of the installation, which lead to “the dismissal of more than 70 temporary workers “.

The unions denounce “the helplessness and restlessness that a stop of these characteristics exerts on the workers”, and accuse the management of the ACB of “blackmailing the social part, putting as a condition to resume production in Sestao, the acceptance of the organizational changes proposed unilaterally, as well as the revision of some points of the Agreement that cover the intended organizational changes “.

In case of not accepting this proposal, as they have indicated, the management “threatens to continue with the layoffs, block the departure of early retirement workers and not ensure the start-up of the Plant in January.”

According to the works council, “although the current energy situation has had a direct impact on the transformation costs that weigh down the competitiveness of our products, the Company’s Management decides to stop production at Sestao, despite currently presenting considerable margins on your profits, once again unloading on their workers and the public coffers their interests games. In addition, in order to increase profits, given the strong demand for steel, the multinational has started the diversion of production to other production centers, where the impact of energy costs is less. “

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“Improvement works” according to ArcelorMittal

For its part, and following the complaint made by the committee, the address ArcelorMittal Sestao reported that the shutdown is due to “a series of planned engineering works”, which are part of an “improvement plan” that will allow the plant’s annual production capacity to be expanded to 1.6 million tons in 2023 , as well as reducing the level of CO2 emissions to 500 kg per ton of steel produced.

According to the company, these changes will prepare “the plant to produce steel with the XCarb * recycled and renewably produced label (produced from recycled steel using 100% renewable energy in an electric arc furnace) from the second quarter of 2022, to respond to the growing demand from customers “.

As reported by sources from the multinational to Europa Press, the planned work they have been a month ahead, “due in part to today’s high electricity prices.”

On the other hand, ArcelorMittal Sestao has indicated that it will continue with the social dialogue with the unions, in order to reach “an agreement that lays the foundations for the future of ArcelorMittal Sestao as a world leader in decarbonisation”.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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