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12000 workers protest ILVA steel plant shutdown amid pollution probe

Steel News - Published on Sun, 29 Jul 2012

AKI reported that some 12,000 workers marched against the closure of Italy\'s largest steelworks in the southern city of Taranto where a pollution investigation has so far led to the arrest of eight plant managers and ex managers.

The shutdown closes the Ilva steelworks\' mineral park, coke ovens, agglomeration area, blast furnaces, steel mills and iron materials management in Taranto.

It sparked protest by workers in ILVA\'s factory in Cornigliano in the northwest port city of Genoa which relies on materials from the Taranto plant, and road blocks along the highway connecting Taranto and Bari in the Puglia region.

Unions fear the plant\'s closure will harm Puglia\'s economy and lead to many thousands of job losses. They want Italy\'s prime minister Mr Mario Monti to intervene in the case, where prosecutors allege the plant\'s fumes caused the death of nearly 400 people over the last 13 years and dust endangered the heath of thousands of workers and residents living nearby.

The arrests ordered by a judge included the owner, Mr Emilio Riva, chairman of Ilva until May 2010; his son Mr Nicola Riva, who took over as chairman from his father; the former director of the Taranto plant, the current head of the plant\'s coke ovens and the supervisor for the agglomeration area.

Experts involved in an investigation that has lasted more than a decade concluded reported this Spring that the Ilva steelworks was responsible for 386 deaths over the last 13 years and a range of illnesses in neighborhoods near the Taranto plant.

The Ilva plant is on the agenda Italy\'s environment Mr Corrado Clini told public radio. He said he would be pressing his cabinet colleagues to give continued backing to a program to clean up areas of Taranto affected by pollution from the steelworks.

Source - AKI


Posted By : admin on Sun, 29 Jul 2012
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