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Friday, December 2, 2011

ArcelorMittal to cut staff in Czech Republic

Fri Dec 2, 2011

PRAGUE Dec 2 (Reuters) - The world's top steelmaker ArcelorMittal will lay off 10 percent of its staff in the Czech Republic due to weaker-than-expected demand amid an economic downturn, a union leader said on Friday.

The steel producer, which makes between 6 and 7 percent of global steel, said in early November a summer dip in demand is deepening into a second-half slump and customers were increasingly cautious due to economic uncertainties.

In the Czech Republic, the company employs about 6,000 people including subsidiaries and trade union member Roman Bacica, who sits on the Czech ArcelorMittal unit's supervisory board confirmed a local agency report that roughly 10 percent of the workers will be let go.

"Demand is not as expected, there are some units in western Europe already idle," he told Reuters. He added workers can apply for a voluntary leave including severance pay by Jan. 20. next year. The plan is for them to leave by the end of the first quarter, he said.

ArcelorMittal in September launched a plan to focus production at its lowest cost steel plants aimed at boosting earnings.

It intends to close steel facilities in Liege, Belgium, and has temporarily idled blast furnaces in France, Germany and Poland as well as arc furnaces in Luxembourg and Spain.

(sourced Reuters)

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