Ex Ilva, Conte meets the workers: "If ArcelorMittal goes away, tough legal battle. Taranto is a wounded city, we all fight together"


The President of the Council, Giuseppe Conte, faces the anger of the workers of theex Ilva and, taking part in the permanent works council of Fiom, Uilm is Fim, inside the plant managed by ArcelorMittal, calls the workers to the union to carry out "a battle" for the work and the safeguard of the health of the inhabitants of Taranto. "You can do business if you create a solid relationship with the stakeholders in a convincing climate, persuasive from all points of view – he told the workers who met him inside the structure – Our interlocutor goes away because he says he does not there is sustainability on an economic level and we must create the premises for a perfectly consonant productive activity with the local community. But it does not mean that we say to Mittal that he can go safely and we can see it. If it goes away, however, there will be one legal battle is we will be very hard", Promises the premier.

The decision to appear before the gates of the former Ilva has received the support of most political forces, including those of opposition. "I will never be on Conte's side," said the senator Forza Italia, Maurizio Gasparri – but going to Taranto among the people was a right choice ". As the government ally considers it Nicola Zingaretti, convinced that "it is important that those who are dealing with it can do so by feeling behind the solidarity of a majority that will support the most useful actions to ensure that the company can continue to manage this site".

And it is precisely the union that Conte asked the workers during the interview: "I want that all together – he added – this battle is being fought, not just lawyers. The first sign to give is the pride of the Italian system. If you invest in Italy you are welcome, participate in the tender, offer the best conditions, win the tender, sign the contract, present the environmental, industrial and employment plan, but then respect it. Ten years have not passed, this is the first distortion. We are the Italy system, we make ourselves respected".

But he warned: "Io I'm not a smoke seller, a superman, a phenomenon. There is not one person, a government that can solve everything by itself ". Then he wanted to make a parallel with the situation that he experienced as prime minister, with another majority, after the collapse of the Morandi bridge of Genoa. "As I said to Genoa for the reconstruction of the Morandi bridge, from here can restart the re-launch of an entire community. This is the determination of the government, "he said before taking his leave with a promise: "I'll be back".

The next steps: "We are evaluating the future of the plant"
Among the workers who met Conte, many asked what the next steps were and what roads the government intends to take. "We must change the register and in this case we will try to be as tough as the moment requires – the head of the government replied – But at the same time I anticipate that the control room has started and we will be constantly confronted. We have to acquire all the funding, look for others and know the radius of operation. We need to evaluate the future of this establishment that will have to be socially responsible".

On the double track to be followed, the premier has repeatedly said that the employment question cannot be separated from that linked to health and vice versa: "If you carry out economic activity – he continued – you cannot not worry about the working conditions, of all the people in there, of the health, of the safety, of the retraining, of the continuing education. You can't not worry about environmental impact ".

Speaking of the confrontation he had when he arrived at the plant with citizens and representatives of movements and associations calling for the closure of the factory, Conte said he had noticed that "the city is wounded. There is a community of people who do not want to hear about this establishment. They were very tough out there. I made them all talk. When a historical rift is created there is concern that then becomes anxiety and if nothing is done it becomes anger. There's anger out here and they are right ".

This has confirmed, he continued, his conviction that "the companies that operate in terms of responsibility are those that manage to compete. A company that cannot dialogue with the community in which it operates does not have a future. We will carry out a series of projects for Taranto. We had already allocated substantial sums for this community, we have to work in the round. There will be a course on prevention and safety in the workplace, we must bring innovation here, we must recover the hospital facilities, we must invest in culture. We cannot think of just one project, we must collect all the initiatives and bring new technologies ".

Environmentalists protest: "More deaths than births"
Many of those who arrived in front of the former Ilva are citizens of the neighbor Tamburi district, the one most affected by airborne dust: "Here there are more deaths than births," a mother said. "We trust the institutions but don't let us lose," continued another. "This city requires more – said another person – because you continue to insist on this factory". The prime minister stopped with some and tried to bring the topic back to the work. To a protester he then said: “Take off the hood, I come here without a mask ”.

Strike until Saturday morning
The strike called by Fim, Fiom and Uilm began Friday morning at 7 am in the Taranto steel plant and in the other sites of the ArcelorMittal group. Dozens of procurement workers they arrived at the gates to protest too: in fact, the induced trembles, come on 400 employees of the Sanac up to 50 of the Enetec for which the company has already requested the ordinary layoff fund. The metalworkers ask "the company the immediate withdrawal of the procedure of retrocession of the business branches and the government not to grant no alibi to the same to disengage, restoring all the conditions in which the agreement was signed 6 September 2018 which would guarantee the possibility of completing the environmental plan in the established deadlines ”. Fim, Fiom and Uilm argue that "the multinational has placed some provocative conditions and unacceptable and the most serious concern the modification of the Environmental Plan, the production downsizing to 4 million tons and the request for dismissal of 5 thousand workers, in addition to questioning the return to work of the 2 thousand currently in Extraordinary Administration ”. Today, ArcelorMittal has received the assistance Moody's who warned the multinational: "Necessary aordered exit from the Italian market ”to preserve the rating and its outlook.

Patuanelli: "Nationalizing? I don't see why talking about risk "
"I don't see why talking about risk. I believe it was historically a error privatize the steel industry, which was a jewel in the crown and of which today remains a single plant, "said the Minister of Economic Development, Stefano Patuanelli, answering, in an interview with The Republic, on the risk of nationalizing the former Ilva. "Right now – he underlines – the government's priority is to get ArcelorMittal respect commitments taken. This is Plan A, Plan B and Plan C and for this reason I have called Parliament, the social forces and all the institutional components of the country to a sense of responsibility that must make the entrepreneur feel the massive presence of the Italian system " .

"The theme of the shield – added Patuanelli – is no longer there. As a government we immediately gave the company the willingness to reinsert it, to remove any alibi. But ArcelorMittal said that even if we solved, in addition to that, the other side issues, the quay and the blast furnace 2, the production would still be 4 million tons per year. With 5 thousand redundancies. It is unacceptable ". Meanwhile in the morning Jindal denied the interest in taking over the multinational, again relaunched by some newspapers even though the Indian group has just committed to Asia for an investment from 2.8 billion euros.

Intesa suspends loans and mortgages of workers: "Concreto support"
Intesa Sanpaolo, which was in the ArcelorMittal consortium in the tender phase, will suspend the installments of mortgages is loans of employees of the former Ilva and gods providers its customers for a period of up to 12 months, collecting the proposal of Fabi. "Intesa Sanpaolo wants to prove its own nearness to former Ilva employees and supplier companies and their families at this time of serious difficulty ”, he explains Carlo Messina, managing director and CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo. "We felt that the suspension of mortgages and loans was an intervention by concrete support for people and local communities in the current situation. Attention to the dynamics and social needs of the territories is for us one of the cornerstones of our way of banking, "he continues.


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