Arcelor Mittal steel workers want wage increases

18-02-2008, 12:22

Warsaw (Puls Biznesu) – German steel workers have already gone on strike. Polish workers are negotiating wage increases with the management of Arcelor Mittal.

Arcelor Mittal, world’s biggest steel company, had USD 10bn of net income last year, or 30 percent more than in 2006. It will be very hard to repeat the growth rate this year because of higher ore and energy prices plus wage demands from the workers. German steel workers, not only from Mittal plants, have already gone on strike. Their Polish peers will negotiate till the end of February. Tomorrow, the first round of negotiations starts.

“I believe we will reach consensus. If not, we will consider further moves”, Jerzy Goinski, head of Arcelor Mittal Poland Solidarność trade union said.

The employees want 12-percent increase. The employer wants to pay them 7.1-7.6 percent more. There are 10,500 people employed in the company with over PLN 4,000 (EUR 1,116) of average gross wage.

“We won’t give up”, Jacek Zub, head of MZZP Arcelor Mittal Poland trade union said.

There is another reason for conflict between employees and the management: the company is planning to fire 750 people this year.

(PLN 1 = EUR 0.279)

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