Steel workers call to action on 1 October 2020
by Hans Diederichs
On 1 October 2020, steel workers and their unions from across Europe will come together in a European action day to demand urgent action to safeguard the sector and its workers.
The European steel sector was already suffering, and the COVID-19 pandemic has further deepened the crisis facing European steel workers. Steel production in Europe (EU) has reduced by 40% and new orders have been cut by up to 70-75%. This has greatly impacted workers in Europe, and it is estimated that at least 45% of the workforce are subjected to (or are at risk of) temporary layoffs and reduced working. However, the impact of COVID-19 has not affected all countries in the same way. While Europe has been suffering, China managed to increase their production by 1,3% in the first quarter of 2020.
Judith Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, said: ‘’COVID-19 has been a disaster for the European steel sector and there are genuine fears that around 50% of steel-making capacity could be lost by the end of this pandemic. This must be avoided, and urgent action is needed to protect European steel workers. European steel is a foundation industry, and it should part of the foundation of Europe’s recovery. We call on European steel workers to mobilise on 1 October and declare ‘’Europe needs steel and steel needs Europe’’.
The European Steel Action Day on 1 October will highlight the demands of industriAll Europe’s European Steel Action Plan and steel workers will call on political and industrial leaders to safeguard our jobs, to act against unfair trade and to give us a pathway towards green steel, made in Europe.
Actions on 1 October will include manifestations at steel production sites, worker assemblies, works council conferences, press activities, social media campaigns, meetings with government representatives, parliamentarians and steel sector employers. IndustriAll Europe will meet representatives of the German EU Presidency to present its steel action plan.
Activities on the day can be followed on social media via #SteelNeedsEuropeNeedsSteel.
Source and graphic: industriAll Europe