Former Ilva, government-union confrontation underway. Executive works on ‘consensual divorce’

Mantovano: “Mittal is out”. The expectations of Fim Fiom and Uilm: “Executive assumes responsibility for giving continuity to the company and safety for the workers”

The meeting between the government and unions on the future of the former Ilva group is underway. For the executive, in addition to the undersecretary of the presidency Alfredo Mantovano, the ministers Urso, Calderone, Fitto and Giorgetti sit in liaison. For the unions, the leaders of Fim, Fiom, Uilm, Uglm and Usb.

The government is apparently working on a “consensual divorce” hypothesis. According to sources present at the meeting, this is the path that the executive would like to experiment with at least “until next Wednesday”.

“There will be no step backwards – the undersecretary of the presidency Alfredo Mantovano assured the trade unions – from today to Wednesday is the time needed to define the divorce. Mittal is out anyway“.

The meeting was then suspended for a few minutes to give the ministers a chance to meet together.

The expectations of the unions

“What we want to hear is the government’s guarantee on the centrality of work, the employment guarantee for workers of Taranto, of Genoa, of Novi Ligure of Racconigi, of all the factories because what cannot happen is that someone thinks that the conditions exist to be able to save the CEOs and the face of the board of directors”, explains the Fiom leader Michele De Palma before the new round with the government on the fate of the former Ilva Group. “Today’s meeting must therefore serve to clarify things with the government: what we are asking for is to make the workers, the plants and the transition of the factories safe. The rest are discussions like we read every day,” he continues. “When the government summons you it’s because it obviously has something to say but the important thing is that we’ve finally managed to get across what we’ve been saying for months: now everyone has discovered that Mittal didn’t make any investments, he didn’t put a single euro into it. So now, even if it is late, the government takes responsibility for giving continuity to the company and safety for all workers in all plants”, he adds.

“The buck-passing we are witnessing in these hours is exactly the opposite of what we need. So now it would be time for all political forces to restore dignity to this country through the Ilva affair, confirming that without the steel industry it is no longer an industrial country.

And even Roberto Benaglia’s Fim does not expect “strokes of a magic wand, but we expect that tonight there will be no rebounds of responsibility”. “A solution and conditions must be built to maintain business continuity. We know that the government with technicians is studying various hypotheses. We don’t expect anything definitive this evening, but we can’t hear ourselves saying ‘we’ll let you know’,” he reiterates. “The urgent hypothesis now is to provide business continuity and secure management. We are not thinking of definitive nationalization. It is important to find new entrepreneurs but a management structure with which to run the company is urgently needed,” he concludes.

Precise expectations also from Uilm. “We expect the government to tell us how it intends to proceed to acquire, manage and recapitalize the company which, despite everything, is still attractive and can be purchased”, underlines the leader Rocco Palombella. “Taranto is not yet at a standstill. There are some blast furnaces that are on ‘stand-by’, they haven’t turned them off yet because otherwise it would be a tragedy. The plants can be reactivated at any time, the important thing is to warn that virtuous cycle to pay for the raw materials and have them arrive,” he continues. “Now the government must say how it intends to exercise its right, that is, convert the 680 million into a capital increase and have the majority. And then – he concludes – if, as we imagine, there is no other possibility, the executive will have to provide the economic resources and immediately appoint a managing director”.