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A Ukrainian Trade Union denounces massive job cuts at ArcelorMittal

Translated Saturday 8 December 2012, by Chrysanthie Therapontos and reviewed by Henry Crapo

In Ukraine also, the trade union of the largest steel plant of the country calls on government to intervene against thousands of job cuts planned by ArcelorMittal

"We, delegates of the trade union of ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih plant protest vigorously on behalf of the 30,000 workers against the policy pursued by the business owner, Lakshmi Mittal," they wrote in an open letter addressed to the Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, to the Prime Minister and to the President of the Parliament.

In the plant in Dnepropetrovsk region (east of the country), the industrial group reduced the number of workers from about 55,000 in 2007 to about 38,000 today. "We have learned that the management intends to decrease the number of workers to 12,600", warns the trade union, which believes that these projects are "inconsistent with law".

Broken promises and tens of thousands of jobs lost

ArcelorMittal had acquired the Kryvorizhstal steel company in 2005, promising to invest consistently. But the group was then subsequently granted permission from the privatization agency in Ukraine to postpone some planned investments. According to the director of the factory, Artiom Poliakov, in comments reported by Interfax on Monday, 19,634 voluntary redundancies have already been made since 2007, in nine waves.
Management estimates that a new plan of 446 redundancies is at present in preparation. "In the current situation, we cannot avoid job cuts," said Mr. Poliakov.

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