ArcelorMittal-France deal: Reach pact over disputed Florange plant, President under pressure

A fresh crisis erupted on Saturday after French government signed an agreement with the steel giant ArcelorMittal to avoid the elimination of about 600 jobs and also allow investing 180 million euros over one of its three largest French factories, the Florange plant.

After a day of agreement, French trade unions accused President Francois Hollande of being threatened to possible nationalization of ArcelorMittal’s Florange steelworks.

According o reports, the major reason of Union Workers get angry is that still there is no solution over the idle furnaces whether to reopen or not. Also no indications are over ArcelorMittal’s last promises to be offer alternative posts or early retirement packages for workers.

“We’ve seen Mr (Lakshmi) Mittal’s pledges in the past and what has become of them – nothing – so we’re not going to let anything pass without a fight,” Edouard Martin, head of union CFDT’s Florange chapter, told source.

Much pressured, Mr. Hollande ensured union to create jobs and keep open the two idled blast furnaces at the site in Florange, in northeastern France running beyond 2010 at which 600 of people affected.

While source said, ArcelorMittal said are not viable in a over European steel sector, but “unconditionally” agreed to keep all 2,700 employees at its site, redeploying to other areas of the plant.

Meanwhile, Europe does not want to increase layoff by branded companies as facing an economic slowdown with more than 10 % unemployment.

ArcelorMittal is the world’s largest steel maker, employing about 20,000 people in France. The company had decided to close the two idled blast furnaces at the Florange plant permanently which raised the tension in the Europe for employment.