17 September, 2007Steel giant and unions commit to innovative global health and safety program.
GLOBAL: The world's largest steel company Arcelor Mittal and trade unions representing its employees from over 20 countries today (September 17) announced a new and innovative approach to health and safety concerns in the company.
Meeting in Montreal at the International Metalworkers' Federation's first world conference of Arcelor Mittal and its trade unions, the company and the unions committed themselves to a joint programme of education and training to raise health and safety standards throughout the company.
The new approach will see the creation of a task force of trade union and company health and safety experts from across the globe that will target plants in the group in order to work to dramatically improve their performance. Through the commitment to work together unions and the company will work towards the vision of eliminating hazards workers encounter in their daily work.
Marcello Malentacchi General Secretary of the International Metalworkers' Federation explained, "Occupational health and safety is undoubtedly the single most important issue for working people, irrespective of which region of the world or country in which they happen to live."
Leo Gerard International President of the United Steelworkers added, "Arcelor Mittal is one of the world's most profitable steel companies, but the true test of any great company is not only on the balance sheet but the way it treats its workers."
According to Arcelor Mittal President and Chief Executive Officer Lakshmi Mittal, "Arcelor Mittal sets Health and Safety above all other priorities and is committed to achieving the highest standards for our employees. We are pleased and encouraged in joining our trade unions in achieving our joint vision to be the safest steel company in the world. One of our first joint initiatives since the merger of Arcelor and Mittal was the undertaking of a global safety and health day on March 6, 2007 wherein management and trade unions from around the world simultaneously committed to achieving our safety and health goals."
Arcelor Mittal is the world's largest steel company with 61 plants in 27 countries. Trade unions from the following countries took part in the meeting in Montreal: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, India, Italy, Liberia, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United States of America.