The LCGB trade union (the majority union within the Tripartite agreement) has confirmed that, as agreed in the LUX 2025 steel industry tripartite agreement, the investment and workforce monitoring committee met in a tripartite meeting, under the supervision of the Ministers of Economy and Labour, in order to present the current state after two years of application of the tripartite agreement and to ensure compliance with the agreement.
The LCGB issued a statement detailing that the state of progress of the various objectives targeted in terms of investments and reorganisation provides new prospects for the future of the steel industry and its employees. Concretely, three aspects (investments, outsourcing, overstaffing) were discussed.
According to the LCGB, ArcelorMittal has committed to an envelope of €165 to €202.5 million, including €90 to €95 million for key and strategic investments, and approximately €110 million for tool maintenance. A minimum guaranteed amount of €65 million has been agreed on strategic investments. These investments are also subject to a financial recovery clause in the event of non-compliance. Coompany management have presented a commitment of €110.2 million out of the overall budget planned, with more than 50% of the total envelope having been effectively committed and respected.
The LCGB highlighted various important details related to key and strategic projects. Management has announced and confirmed, for the Belval production site, the correct path of the file and therefore the intention to acquire a new electric oven for its steelworks. In addition, the Bissen site is destined to become the first carbon-neutral site within the “wire” branch. The LCGB warmly welcomed this announcement and thanked the role of the government whom they recognised as an essential player. These announcements confirm the profitability and performance of the Luxembourg production sites for many years. However, the LCGB stated that they cannot be satisfied with an announcement of intention and ambition and has persistently asked for clearer commitments for the future of the Bissen site. In this context, they asked for a status update regarding the purchase of a new sheet pile rolling mill for the Belval site which they believe has become essential for the future.
In addition, the LCGB requested details on the intention to build new headquarters (the company had made a commitment to keep the head office in Luxembourg and aimed to build a new building in Kirchberg). The LCGB notes acknowledged that an agreement had been reached with the government in order to honour the commitment made, with occupation of the premises planned for 2026.
Concerning the Dommeldange workshop, the LCGB reiterated its request to respect the agreement with regard to the support of the various production sites with a view to strongly supporting the remaining activities within the workshop, which they described as a sine qua non condition of site survival.
2. Outsourcing initially planned
The LCGB reported that various outsourcing projects have been abandoned, which implies the retention, within the company, of workstations as well as consequent activity. As a result, the overstaffing initially planned has been revised downwards following adaptations of the possible consequences linked to investment projects and the abandonment of outsourcing projects.
3. The evolution of overstaffing and accompanying measures
The LCGB acknowledged that the initial overstaffing estimate of 536 was too high and has been revised downwards. Out of 400 departures related to retirements and early retirements, 204 departures in early retirement adjustments took place. They recorgnised that a certain haste for downsizing is clearly apparent, mainly linked to reorganisation, the majority of which come from the central administration.
The redeployment unit (CDR) 2021 currently includes 59 people consistent with the LUX 2025 agreement; a remaining overstaffing of 249 people in total is estimated up to the end of 2025.
The LCGN stated that the steel industry is a victim of the labour shortage phenomenon that the country is facing currently. As a result, they called for the training component for reorientation to be intensified.
In conclusion, the LCGB stated that the ArcelorMittal Group must not only focus on obtaining State aid, but must also invest in the redistribution of the wealth produced by the Luxembourg steel industry, recognising the skills and commitment of employees.