Closing the furnace in Nowa Huta. “They cheated us, 2,000 people will lose their jobs”

According to calculations by ArcelorMittal Poland, 650 people will lose their jobs after the closure of the blast furnace and steel plant in the Krakow steelworks. – This is a lie – union representatives say and point out that up to 2,000 people may be unemployed. people. – We did not expect such a decision. The board was in denial the whole time. They knew about it, they deceived us – says Polsat News, chairman of NSZZ AMP Krzysztof Wójcik. He did not rule out strikes.

The president and CEO of AMP Sanjay Samaddar informed journalists that the decision was related to the crisis faced by the European steel industry in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges it is facing on the global steel markets. These include decrease in demand for steel, rising costs of CO2 emission allowances and insufficient measures to protect the European market, which directly translates into a huge increase in imports from third countries.

– The COVID-19 pandemic has huge consequences for the European steel industry. Virtually all steel-intensive industries have reduced their activities and some have closed their plants, assessed Sanjay Samaddar.

The blast furnace and steel plant in the Krakow branch of AMP were temporarily shut down in November 2019 due to the decrease in demand for steel and the large volume of imports of steel products from outside the European Union. According to the company’s authorities, since then, most of the workers affected by the shutdown of these installations have found employment in other plants of ArcelorMittal Poland or – since March 2020 and the advent of the coronavirus pandemic – have been staying in the so-called layoffs.

The AMP representative announced that the process of permanently closing the blast furnace and steel plant in the Krakow steelworks will start in October and will last several weeks.

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As Samaddar emphasized, the company’s management board’s priority will be to develop protective solutions for the employees of the raw materials part of the Krakow steel plant. According to him, the closure will directly affect around 650 employees.

– Our main goal and effort will be to find other employment opportunities in our other companies for as many of these employees as possible – declared the president. He stressed that the company undertook to “work out in consultation with social partners the best possible solutions for its employees”.

He added that the remaining branches of the Krakow steelworks, such as the coking plant and the processing section – two rolling mills, a sheet galvanizing and painting line, in which the company has invested PLN 500 million in the last five years, will continue to operate. Steel for its needs will be delivered from the steelworks in Dąbrowa Górnicza, where the raw material part will be concentrated based on two blast furnaces operating there.

Sanjay Samaddar announced that ArcelorMittal Poland decided to concentrate the production of pig iron in two blast furnaces in the branch in Dąbrowa Górnicza, which will allow the company to increase its cost competitiveness.

– We want to continue to produce steel in Poland based on the operating raw material part concentrated in one location – emphasized the president.

According to AMP calculations, about 650 people are to lose their jobs in Krakow. – It’s a lie to me. 600 people result from their calculations, from the papers they made for themselves. 1,200 people were directly involved in the work on the blast furnace. In addition, there are companies that provide services, these people have not been counted anymore – said Polsat News Krzysztof Wójcik.

– For me, it’s quietly 2,000. people – he stressed. – One still has to take into account the statistics which say that there are seven places outside the steelworks per one place in the steel industry. If we count it, Krakow has a problem, because we can count hundreds of people who will be unemployed – added a trade unionist.

– We absolutely did not expect such a decision. Until today, I cannot cool down from the emotions that accompanied yesterday’s statements by the president. Three weeks ago, in the press, the company’s management board denied the information from colleagues from August 1980 that the stove would be turned off. Yesterday it turned out that it was a lie. They were already prepared, they knew, they deceived us. This is how we feel – emphasized the chairman of NSZZ AMP.

Speaking about the arguments of the company’s management, he pointed out that they “contradicted each other in every statement”. – They argued with the difficult financial situation, costs, and finally COVID, and in a moment Marc De Pauw, president of the management board, said that to reassure us, he wanted to guarantee us throwing almost PLN 200 million into the investment in the raw materials part in Dąbrowa Górnicza. Where’s the sense here, where’s the logic? – asked the trade unionist.

He pointed out that “the furnace in Krakow is prepared for 20 years of work”.

– Today we are meeting urgently with representatives of all unions and we will discuss together what to do next. We do not agree with the decision of the management board of the company and the group. What will be the decisions, it is difficult for me to say, but I do not rule out that there will be strike fires, spontaneous, without our knowledge, without our participation – said Krzysztof Wójcik.

The chairman of the NSZZ of Arcelor Mittal employees believes that the crew is not satisfied with the owner’s decision.

– Employees are fed up with cheating, lying and feeding on people’s feelings – said Wójcik.

ArcelorMittal Poland is the largest steel producer in Poland. The company has approx. 70 percent. the production potential of the Polish steel industry. It includes five steel mills – in Kraków, Dąbrowa Górnicza, Sosnowiec, Świętochłowice and Chorzów. The concern also includes Zakłady Kokseniowa Zdzieszowice, which is the largest coke producer in Europe. AMP employs approx. 11 thousand. people, and together with subsidiaries – over 13 thousand. people. It belongs to the global concern ArcelorMittal – the world‘s largest steel producer.

ex / hlk / Polsat News, PAP

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