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(en) France, UCL AL #312 - Unionism, Metallurgy: Florange passes, Mittal rapacious (ca, de, it, fr, pt)[machine translation]

Date Tue, 26 Jan 2021 09:48:33 +0200

It all started with a cork strike at the hot rolling mill on the Moselle site, until it took on national proportions. This is a consequence of Covid-19: employees cannot tighten their belts any further. ---- In October, a strike movement that started from Florange (Moselle) won over eight other French sites of the Arcelor-Mittal group (Reims, Gray, Pontcharra, Woippy, Ottmarsheim, Saint-Nazaire, Bruyères-sur-Oise, Denain), with walkouts and even blockages. Started on the 6th, the strike was suspended three weeks later, pending compulsory annual negotiations (NAO). "We worked throughout the period of the first confinement," explains Lionel Kozinski, CGT union representative in Florange, " we did not stop. More than 50 employees were affected by the Covid and we still continued." And for those employees who were on short-time work, the management did not want to supplement the money paid by the State to guarantee 100 % of their income. So that in September, the union calculated that the shortfall for employees would be 4,000 euros on average.

Today, he is asking for a Covid premium of 2,000 euros, and covering up to 100% of partial unemployment. The management responded with silence: "Since the Macron ordinances and the establishment of the social and economic committee, explains Kozinski, the" social dialogue "has been broken, the unions are no longer taken seriously and the breaches of working conditions are 'accumulate, hence the fed up." The ArcelorMittal group, however, a well-stocked cash. It collects considerable funds, in particular through public aid, and will benefit from the State's recovery plan.

The movement started from the base of employees of the Florange steel plant, and the CGT helped in its construction and extension, in particular by setting up a strike fund.

Cold rolling mill outlet blockage
It all started with a disengagement of the hot rolling mill which, being at the first stage of the production chain, brought the cold rolling mill to a standstill downstream - this is called a "strike. -cap". The workers, each doing a few hours of strike each day, succeeded in stopping everything, thus demonstrating that even a small number of determined strikers, in a strategic sector, can prevent the production of an entire factory.

On Friday, October 16, the CGT and the strikers also blocked the exit of the cold rolling mill, preventing the trucks from loading the finished products. The press was present, the movement well followed and the strike fund replenished by comrades of the CGT Moselle. On the day of the blockade, a group of anti-strike workers, close to the management, gathered in front of the House of Trade Unions. Few in number, they quickly broke camp when they saw that the strikers were heading for the factory cold.

The next day, after thirteen days of strike action, the CFDT and CGC unions, usually very timid and submissive to management, joined the CGT on its demands. It was because it was difficult for them to deny that the movement was supported by all the employees. They would have paid dearly for it in the next elections ...
In December, at the end of the NAO, the group's management finally agreed to a general salary increase of 0.6%, and an exceptional bonus of 500 euros. We are far from the 2,000 euros claimed but, after consulting the employees of the group, the CGT agreed to sign the agreement.

Jean-Baptiste (UCL Thionville)

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