Acciaierie Italia: for former Ilva decarbonisation in 10 years, cold unions, an eternity

Ten years to decarbonise the former Ilva of Taranto and deliver to the country, with an investment of 4.7 billion euros, a green steel mill that by 2025 will have reduced the production of C02 by 40% and that of fine particles and that by that same date will summarize the entire workforce, currently in cig, and will ensure the increase in production to 8 million tons. This is the industrial plan, or rather the project as often called, that the CEO of Acciaierie d’Italia, Lucia Morselli presented, with the president Franco Bernabè, to Fim Fiom Uilm Uglm and Usb, in pressing for months on government and company to get a table at which to discuss the future of the former Ilva Group after the State’s entry into the ownership of the steel mill.

An expected confrontation, therefore, that of today, also at the center of a general strike of the blue overalls on 10 November last, which however left the unions cold which at the end of an all in all short round, no more than three hours, spoke of preliminary meeting: “10 years are an eternity, we need to start a close confrontation immediately”, they said in summary. A plan that certainly convinces the public shareholder who, however, asks for time: “the plan is realistic but not simple. The transition to hydrogen and the management and consequences of the employment aspects need time. The picture outlined today is more complicated than we expected, we need trust “, says at the end the minister of economic development, Giancarlo Giorgetti, who reaffirms the government’s commitment to the game.

“The government will do its part, it will continue to work with a constructive spirit by putting order in a package of rules and tools that allow to manage the transition phase towards the green of a strategic sector such as that of steel”, he explains in line with what was also expressed by the Minister of Labor, Andrea Orlando at the table. “We need to work on a special law with which to identify a shock absorber that is not emergency but that defines a more structured intervention that supports all those workers who, due to the transition, will find themselves in difficulties “, report those present.

But the unions want to play their cards uncovered and go and check the plan in detail, employment including that of Ilva’s workers, investments and production. “It was a preliminary meeting. The path hypotheses for the next ten years are still very far from the details of the investments, resources and time needed to implement the plan. These are long-term scenarios largely conditioned by elements not available to negotiate between the parties, while we continue to record the absence of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance and the systematic use of layoffs “, comments at the end the Fiom leader, Francesca Re David, who asks for the start of a trade union table to evaluate plant by plant “the reality and the industrial, environmental and employment prospects of the whole group”.

Uilm’s vision is even more pessimistic. “We must try to throw our hearts over the obstacle. A ten-year plan of which we do not know the details is an eternity and in the meantime the plant situation is disastrous, the plants stop and the workers are continually put at risk”, says Rocco Palombella, Uilm listing the obstacles along the road to a decarbonization that is not done in a day: “thousands of workers in cig, third-party companies that are not paid and the workers of Ilva in As have not even been considered. We are able to ensure a future for these workers? When do we start? “, he asks, urging for this,” a credible plan “.

An “interlocutory” meeting also for Roberto Benaglia’s Fim which sees “still many difficulties” on the road drawn on the floor; not least what will happen in May 2022 between the State and Arcelor Mittal when the steel plant passes under the majority of public control. “We need a detailed comparison, such a long program in fact needs a lot of in-depth analysis. For us, 2022 will have to be the year of trust and restart, the critical issues with which we close 2021 must absolutely be resolved starting from the ordinary management of the plant “, he concludes.