On Tuesday 15 December 2020, after fourteen working group meetings, the steel tripartite reached an agreement in principle concerning the restructuring plan at ArcelorMittal in Luxembourg, where there will be no mandatory redundancies.
Luxembourg's Ministry of the Economy and Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy, the management of ArcelorMittal and representatives of the trade unions established an agreement covering a five-year period, from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2025. This agreement avoids having to set up a social plan through the use of a job retention plan with the early retirement-adjustment of eligible people. The remaining overstaffing will enter into a new reclassification unit where the employees concerned can be reassigned within the group, externally reorientated, contribute to a loan of labour or undergo requalification training under the structural partial unemployment scheme.
According to the LCGB union, the agreement is built on the balance of an estimated overstaffing of 536 posts, of which 81 will not be subsidised by the employment fund.
To ensure the sustainability of its activities in Luxembourg, ArcelorMittal will invest in the development of their production sites in Belval, Differdange, Rodange and Bissen. The company has thus committed to invest between €165 and €202.5 million over the period from 2021 to 2025. ArcelorMittal also formally committed to keeping its head office in Luxembourg with the construction of a new building.
Certain specific activities will continue in the mechanical workshop in Dommeldange, while other work carried out there, such as the maintenance of various machines, will be transferred to the group's production sites in Luxembourg.
Composed of representatives of the government and the social partners, a tripartite committee will monitor investments and staff during the period concerned.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour, Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy, Dan Kersch, commented: “I welcome the constructive and responsible attitude of both ArcelorMittal management and the unions that made it possible to reach this agreement in principle. In the event of non-execution of the planned investments, ArcelorMittal has undertaken to pay a financial contribution to the State, which is a first in the history of the Luxembourg social model”.
Luxembourg's Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot, added: “With regard to the restructuring at ArcelorMittal, the government has assumed its social responsibility within the framework of the 'steel industry' tripartite. Thanks to the social dialogue specific to the Luxembourg model, we have been able to find the best possible solutions for the employees concerned, while giving a perspective of the future to the various sites of the group in Luxembourg”.
The government, trade union representatives and the management of ArcelorMittal are set to sign the final agreement at the beginning of next year.