Unions reject ArcelorMittal proposals
(CS/BB) Luxembourg's labour unions OBGL and LCGB have rejected proposals for a new collective working agreement put forward by steel company ArcelorMittal.
While ArcelorMittal expressed its regret over the failed negotiations, which have lasted nearly a year, saying that the company had made reasonable suggestions, unions claimed that management had been unwilling to compromise.
Among the demands made by ArcelorMittal, which were deemed unacceptable by unions were a three-year freeze on wages, a restructuring of career advancement and the abolition of nine days of annual leave.
In a last-minute effort to save the negotiations, ArcelorMittal offered financial compensation for the lost days of annual leave, and some additional rest days based on the sector of employment within the company.
ArcelorMittal also argued that its proposals include an investment plan for the Luxembourg steel sites to ensure the long-term future of the industry in the Grand Duchy, urging workers to re-think the proposals.
Following the rejection by union delegates, workers will now be asked to vote whether they support strike action. The OGBL is planning this vote for December 20. Should over three quarters of employees affected by the collective contract express their support for a strike, the Luxembourg steel sites could lie vacant as early as January.
During a strike unions would compensate lost wages, with around 80 percent of Luxembourg steel workers members of a labour union.