Working class groups protest layoffs by ArcelorMittal in Luxembourg

The steel corporation ArcelorMittal announced that it would lay off up to 570 employees. The company is citing COVID-19 but critics say ‘redundancies’ were planned much before

September 12, 2020 by Peoples Dispatch
Luxembourg Protests
The Communist Party of Luxembourg (KPL) and the Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL) raised concerns over the announcement by ArcelorMittal.

Working class organizations in Luxembourg have strongly objected to the proposed ‘redundancies’ in the steel manufacturing ventures of ArcelorMittal in Luxembourg. On Thursday, September 10, ArcelorMittal announced that it would lay off up to 570 employees in Luxembourg. Two thirds of them will be in the production section and the rest in the administration section. The decision was taken at a board meeting.

According to reports, the company has cited the COVID-19 crisis as a reason for making redundancies. But, it is evident that the job cuts are happening as part of the restructuring plan announced by the company much before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. The cuts were aimed at saving 50 million euros per year over the next few years.

In a statement on September 11, Ali Ruckert, chairman of the Communist Party of Luxembourg(KPL) said that “the announcement by ArcelorMittal on Thursday for reduction of up to 570 jobs in production and administration does not come as a surprise, even if the government pretends [it is so].”

“After the end of the Post-Lux 2016/2019 Agreement, the group had so far refused to conclude a new agreement on investments, jobs and accompanying measures,” he pointed out.

The post-Lux 2016/2019 agreement was signed by the government, the  Independent Luxembourg Trade Union Confederation (OGBL) and  ArcelorMittal in 2017. It outlines the social measures and other investments to support the transformation of the Luxembourg sites of the steel group.

“In order to guarantee more investments from the steel giant in Luxembourg, it would be necessary to make decisions at political level and to reorganize the steel industry, as has been demanded by KPL since the beginning of the 1980s, and to reorganize production and investment according to social needs,” added Ali Ruckert.

The OGBL has also stated that this restructuring cannot be done at the expense of employees and said that it will work to ensure that no employees lose their jobs.