Unions voice concern over ArcelorMittal's Violations Policy

13.01.2011

The ArcelorMittal Joint Global Health and Safety Committee met at Unite the Union's training college in Esher, London to review results from 2010 and plan its activities for 2011.

UK/GLOBAL: During the meeting the trade union participants raised concerns over the company's decision to implement a safety violations policy. The unions present outlined the belief that workers should be seen as part of the solution to safety problems, and not the problem themselves.

Union participants informed management that hazard identification and correction including workers being able to report near misses without fear are potentially at risk if the policy is implemented in a heavy handed way without dialogue and consent from the local unions representatives and joint safety committees.

Rob Johnston, IMF Executive Director and Union Chair of the committee, stated, "Although the committee does not have a mandate to negotiate policies or agreements, we do have a responsibility to speak out if we feel management's strategy is wrong, we have voiced our concerns on this issue and need to find a solution."

The JGHSC also reviewed results for 2010, which saw a slight increase in the number of fatalities from 2009. However since signing the JGHSC agreement rates have fallen by more than 50 per cent. The JGHSC also plans to publish a detailed review in the second half of 2011 on all its activities to date. The next meeting of the JGHSC will take place on March 1 to 3, 2011 in Argentina.