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ArcelorMittal Zenica Halts Output in Bosnia

Steel News - Published on Thu, 21 May 2020

Image Source: ArcelorMittal Zenica
ArcelorMittal has halted output at its Bosnia steel plant and at mines that supply it with iron ore for 10 days due to a drop in demand caused by the lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has sent 80% of its workers at home. ArcelorMittal Zenica said that since the beginning of the outbreak its management has taken measures to trim costs, procure protection equipment and renegotiate gas and power prices with its suppliers. The plant said it had proposed a wage cut of between 10% and 20% for managerial positions but unfortunately all these measures were not sufficient to provide for the continuation of production. The Omarska iron ore mines in northwestern Bosnia also said operations had been hit by the crisis and the company had taken a number of measures in response, including temporarily laying off workers.

But the company’s unions rejected the proposal. The Zenica plant’s unions denied there had been a drop in demand and accused management of trying to secure subsidies and minimum wage payments from the regional government under a special law introduced to cushion the economy from the coronavirus impact. Union head Zuhdija Kapetanovic said that 800 out of a planned 1,000 workers had already been furloughed, calling on them not to sign voluntary-layoff documents. He said their wages would be nearly halved and they would seek legal protection.

The steelmaker employs around 1,400 workers in Zenica and 800 at Omarska. The steelmaker has an annual production capacity of some 1 million tonnes.

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Posted By : Yogender Pancholi on Thu, 21 May 2020
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