ArcelorMittal announces changes to management board as strike looms
(CS) Steel company ArcelorMittal has announced that Michel Wurth will retire from the management board, with additional changes to the steel producer's organisational structure as a workers' strike looms in Luxembourg.
Wurth will depart from the ArcelorMittal group management board in April 2014. However, he will maintain his position as chairman of ArcelorMittal Luxembourg and possibly as a member of the board of directors, with the latter post in need of confirmation at the annual general meeting.
Additionally, a new organisational structure will see the company managed by region, in order to allow for specific and dedicated strategies.
“Flat Carbon Europe, Long Carbon Europe and distribution solutions will report to Aditya Mittal as CEO of ArcelorMittal Europe,” the company announced, adding that the younger Mittal will also remain CFO of ArcelorMittal.
Annual leave at stake
At the same time, Luxembourg's labour unions and ArcelorMittal are still at odds over their new collective working agreement (CWA).
Negotiations at the national conciliation office in November remained fruitless, but unions had said that they would try to continue talks with the steel company.
By mid-December, however, there does not appear to be an agreement on the horizon. The bone of contention are nine days of annual leave, which the steel company wants to abolish, while unions have so far insisted that they remain in place.
Outgoing management board member Wurth commented to the “Luxemburger Wort” that the company hopes for a solution by the end of the year. At stake is not only the CWA, but also a competitiveness plan for the Luxembourg steel sites and plans for the modernisation of the Belval plant, he said.
Unions to meet Thursday
ArcelorMittal has offered financial compensation for the loss of annual leave, as well as speaking out in favour of more specific annual leave allowances based on the sector of employment, while lowering annual leave as a whole in order to remain competitive.
Unions will now have to decide whether they want to accept the compromise offered by ArcelorMittal. Should they refuse, a workers' strike appears to be the only path left.
Both the OBGL and LCGB will vote on the matter Thursday afternoon and are set to inform their employees on Friday.
The current CWA, which expired on November 30, was most recently extended until December 15, a deadline fast approaching.
With additional reporting by Bérengère Beffort