Important news from Mark

October 14, 2011 at 8:18am

UPDATE 1-ArcelorMittal confirms closures at Liege site

The company confirmed the news on Friday after union leaders said late on Wednesday that the group’s local bosses had announced that the two blast furnaces, one idled since 2008, the other since August, and a foundry would be closed down.The talks leading up to the closure were difficult and at one stage disgruntled union representatives prevented six members of the Liege management from leaving the building, where talks were held for 48 hours.ArcelorMittal said it faced structural over-capacity in Northern Europe, given a difficult European market.In recent months, the group also idled blast furnaces in Florange, France, and Eisenhuettenstadt, Germany.”The liquid phase in Liege is still not competitive enough under foreseeable market conditions,” Joao Felix da Silva, CEO of ArcelorMittal Liege, said in a statement on Friday.The company said the decision would not affect its capacity or market share in Europe.Unions estimated that 500 jobs were threatened by the decision.Da Silva said he was convinced that compulsory redundancies could be avoided.Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal told investors last month that it would weather a possible recession better than in 2008/2009 because of savings made to date, a healthier balance sheet and its expansion into mines.


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