Seventy leaders from unions at ArcelorMittal in eighteen different countries meeting in Luxembourg this week on 10 and 11 July, launched the IndustriALL ArcelorMittal Global Union Network. The unions represent tens of thousands of ArcelorMittal workers at nearly all of the company’s major mines, steelmaking, and steel processing facilities across Africa, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Europe, Latin America and North America.
The leaders committed to a programme of communication, collaboration and coordination amongst unions in the ArcelorMittal global network.
“Unions at ArcelorMittal recognize the importance of collaborating across borders. A number of them called at our Base Metals Steering Committee meeting last September for forming a global union network, and now they’ve launched it and committed to actively participating in it. IndustriALL will strongly support their efforts,” said IndustriALL General Secretary Valter Sanches.
The Luxembourg Minister of Labour Nicolas Schmit addressed the meeting and expressed support for the Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal participating in global social dialogue with unions, calling for it to serve as a model for other companies.
ArcelorMittal Executive Vice President and Head of human resources Bart Wille also spoke at the meeting and addressed questions and comments raised by participants.
Wille shared ArcelorMittal’s commitments to social dialogue at all of its operations, to open and transparent dialogue with respectful communications, to strong employee relations, to safe, healthy and quality working lives for all its workers, and other commitments the company has made by adhering to the Global Deal.
IndustriALL Global Union has had a joint global health and safety agreement with ArcelorMittal since 2007. A committee established through this agreement met the day after the global union network meeting to discuss a new training program it’s developing for local joint health and safety committees.
The ArcelorMittal Global Union Network identified as a key aim a written commitment from the company to a more formal, structured and regular global social dialogue, including a global committee supported by the company, to pursue matters of global concern in addition to health and safety.
“We appreciate the participation and support provided by ArcelorMittal for this meeting, as well as the company’s recent openness to dialogue with IndustriALL about concerns we have at some of their operations. We also fully support the commitments ArcelorMittal has made to positive industrial relations. We believe that, through partnership with the ArcelorMittal Global Union Network and IndustriALL, we can jointly make those commitments a reality,” added Sanches.
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