Reuters, citing union officials, reported that ArcelorMittal will keep the furnaces at its Florange plant in eastern France shut until at least the end of June.
CFDT union officials said plant management confirmed the furnaces would remain idle in the second quarter. But they feared the closure would be prolonged until the end of the year.
Mr Jean-Marc Vecrin of the CFDT told Reuters “Management told us there is a strong probability that the site will remain at a halt in the third and fourth quarters, in other words until the end of the year.”
Workers fear an outright closure of Florange, and the CFDT union said it would use the forthcoming elections in France to publicise the threat to jobs.
The company declined to comment on the situation ahead of a works council meeting scheduled for February 23.
ArcelorMittal halted one furnace at Florange last July and the other in October as part of a wave of production cuts in Europe in response to ailing demand for steel. The idling of production at Florange has led to temporary layoffs of 2,600 out of some 5,000 employees at the site.
Sourced from Reuters