Unions decry the deteriorated health and safety conditions and as consequence a number of fatal incidents occurred at the sites of ArcelorMittal in Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Poland and Spain and most recently in South Africa where on 16 February three workers lost their lives under collapsed building at the ArcelorMittal plant in Vanderbijlpark.
On 9th March, the signatories of the ‘’Agreement on minimum requirements for Plant level Joint H&S Committees’’ with ArcelorMittal, IndustriALL Global Union, IndustriAll Europe and USW have sent a letter to the company, demanding an urgent health and safety committee meeting. In absence of an initial reaction from the company and given the urgency of the matter, on 24 March, worker representatives of the global committee and the signatory unions signatories came together and discussed the situation.
Having examined the existing worrying situation with health and safety at the sites of ArcelorMittal, the participants of the meeting adopted the “Statement of the Workers’ Group of the ArcelorMittal Joint Global Health and Safety Committee” which was officially forwarded to the company.
In the statement, worker representatives and the signatory unions have stressed the necessity of joint efforts to protect the health of the workers at ArcelorMittal sites, particularly in time of pandemic. The participants have also payed attention to the extremely worrying escalation of fatalities at ArcelorMittal sites and the necessity of immediate joint action. At the same time, it was reminded to the company that trade unions consistently raised concerns about the lack of investment in site maintenance and health and safety at local level.
Worker representatives of the committee once again called for immediate actions that has to be taken by the company.
Ultimately, ArcelorMittal has responded announcing that a meeting of the joint global health and safety committee will take place in the coming weeks.