Genoa - ILVA’s Genoa workers have been recognised by the company’s Programme Agreement, in which one of the binding points is a guarantee of upholding employment levels in exchange for the concession of 1.2 million sqm of land to ILVA’s holding company. In addition, UILM reports that the company is willing to increase its investments in Genoa through a “second phase”, once the planned investments worth €123 million have been completed. “Conditions are good, let’s move things forward,” said Genoa’s mayor, Marco Bucci, and the president of Liguria, Giovanni Toti. Arcelor Mittal, for its part, shares “the need expressed by several parties to deepen and update the content of the agreement in light of the new situation” and is ready to clarify it with the local authorities and trade unions. “Recognizing the legitimacy of the programme agreement means recognizing that there are no redundancies,” said FIOM’s secretary Francesca Re David, reaffirming the union’s objective of “zero redundancies”. This principle was also mentioned by Toti, who together with Bucci, will attend meetings with ArcelorMittal and the trade unions starting next week, the first of which is scheduled for Monday in Genoa at the Regional offices. 373 of the 1476 ILVA Genoa workers are already doing useful work for the local authorities while receiving redundancy pay.
There are currently just over 1,100 working at the factory. In its Industrial Plan, Mittal said that it would only need 900, although that figure could change. The programme agreement, which was signed by the Region, the City of Genoa, the trade unions and ILVA in 1999 (when the property was owned by the Riva Group), provided for the closure of the hot works area, which took place in 2005, the reclamation and renovation of areas, and employment protection for workers, who numbered about 2,200 at that time, and are now at about 1,500. The number of employees is linked to the number of square metres granted in concession. Negotiations with local organizations interested in taking back parts of the land for other activities, will start from this principle. “Depending on the agreement, we shall see what the right ratio of government land to employees is,” Bucci explained, also stressing the importance of future investments. And in Genoa, as in Taranto, the environmental issue is at the forefront, with the public company “Per Cornigliano” dealing with the clean-up and redevelopment of the ILVA land. The absorption of redundant workers could therefore take place in part through an increase in ArcelorMittal’s assets (a new tin-plate line with increased production) and partly through transfer to successor companies of the state-owned areas that ArcelorMittal is not interested in.