Negotiations continue at ArcelorMittal
(CS/mig) Negotiations for a new collective working agreement at the Luxembourg branch of steel giant ArcelorMittal continued with a meeting between management and labour unions on Tuesday morning.
Following the meeting, the LCGB commented that the negotiations were difficult, with the company looking to lower wages by around 20 percent, as well freezing wages and cutting 12 days of rest still owed to employees.
Unions called these demands unacceptable, saying that cutting wages would threaten the livelihood of workers and jeopardise social peace.
ArcelorMittal and unions are currently in arbitration at the national conciliation office, which has recommended they continue negotiations internally until September 17, when both parties are expected to meet with a mediator. Should no agreement be reached until then, strike action becomes a possibility.
The collective agreement was terminated by ArcelorMittal in December 2012, but the steel producer and unions have so far failed to reach a new agreement, which ArcelorMittal hoped would come into effect by the end of this year.
ArcelorMittal had said when the agreement was terminated that this was necessary in order to implement a new common bylaw (“statut unique”), with unions calling for solidarity to uphold workers' rights.