Luis Colunga, Deputy General Secretary, said:
‘’We support our members’ demands of high levels of investment for the sites involved in this joint venture. Investment is paramount for the future of this joint venture and Europe must continue to produce world class products in today’s challenging global market.
“The European steel industry is under fierce global pressure and industriAll Europe is continuing to work with European policy makers to combat the major challenges of global overcapacity and the unfair dumping of cheap steel. Our members believe that this joint venture will enable both companies to be stronger together in an international market which is good for European jobs.
‘’The European steel industry has faced crisis after crisis and we are currently being subjected to huge unfair tariffs of up to 25% by the US. The last thing that European workers need is uncertainty, and that is why we are calling for both companies to fulfill their commitments in relation to high levels of investment in infrastructure and to avoid compulsory redundancies.
‘’It is important that workers are strong, united and fully represented. We will continue to work with our members to unite European workers and to demand a clear business plan which protects jobs.‘’
On 20 September, thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel announced their intention to create what would become the No. 2 in the European flat steel market: ‘thyssenkrupp Tata Steel’. A 50/50 joint venture to be headquartered in the Netherlands, with an estimated workforce of 48,000 employees in 34 locations, with €15 billion annual revenues and 21 million tonnes of shipment per year.
It has already been announced that the envisaged operation would entail up to 4,000 job cuts (to be evenly shared between Tata Steel and thyssenkrupp, as well as between administrative and production positions) and that further job reductions could not be ruled out in the years to come.
National Work Councils have been in discussions over the past few months, and after requests for further information as well as national commitments (investments and redundancies), all have given a position opinion on the proposed joint venture.
The proposed joint venture must be approved by the European Commission (DG Competition) before the final joint venture can be signed. IndustriAll Europe will register as an ‘’interested party’’ during this process to ensure that workers’ rights are respected throughout this process.
Elspeth Hathaway, email@example.com, +32 22 26 00 72