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German steelworkers raise their voice

12 April, 2016On 11 April, around 45,000 German steelworkers rallied in different cities all over Germany for the future of Europe’s steel industry. 

IndustriALL German affiliate IG Metall organized series of mass actions under the theme “Steel is the future”, sending the signal that European steel industry exists and has a future.

In Duisburg, home of ThyssenKrupp’s largest steel plants, 16,000 steelworkers came to show that they stand together for a strong steel industry in Europe and Germany, and that they will not accept the deindustrialization of Europe.

Their main arguments are:

  • Steel is a high tech product produced under the highest standards in Europe and especially in Germany when it comes to working conditions, quality and environmental protection
  • European policy has to take into account previous CO2 reduction in this highly efficient sector instead of putting further burden on it
  • Steelworkers in Germany will not accept a policy that allows dumping imports of steel that is unfairly subsidized and produced with no respect to the set conditions for CO2, labour rights, wages and so on.

This was a strong signal to German and European political leadership, demanding a change of policy and a stop to the deindustrialization, which would mean jobs losses in Germany and Europe, but also a higher level of CO2 emissions, as well as worse working conditions.

The German vice chancellor and minister of economic affairs were present at the meeting and promised to raise their voice on behalf of the steel industry and its workers.

The whole IG Metall board was also present in Duisburg. In a passionate speech supporting the future of steel production in Germany, IG Metall president Jörg Hofmann said:

”We want a future for our jobs! We want a future for our families! We want a future for our regions and we want a future for manufacturing in Germany and Europe, and manufacturing is not possible without steel!

“Steel is future and the reason we are here today. We are not only fighting for German steel mills today, we are fighting for the survival of manufacturing in Europe!”

The entire international committee at ThyssenKrupp, where IndustriALL is represented, showed its solidarity and joined in the cheers “Steel is the future!“

Matthias Hartwich, IndustriALL director for mechanical Engineering and materials Industries,  and member of the international committee at ThyssenKrupp, said:

“You could feel the heartbeat of steel from 16´000 men and women gathered here today in Duisburg. I hope this heartbeat was heard from Duisburg to Berlin and even Brussels so that politicians act against an unhealthy deindustrialization of Europe. It was a good feeling to be here today.“