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Ensuring workers' rights at Arcelor-Mittal

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27 June, 2006Trade unions vow to work together to ensure workers' rights are respected by the new steel giant Arcelor-Mittal.

ROMANIA: Trade unions representing Mittal's metalworkers in Central and Eastern Europe declare they will work with trade unions at Arcelor to ensure the newly merged company respects workers' rights.

IMF affiliates from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Ukraine and Russia joined by Canada, Germany, the UK and the U.S. met on June 26 and 27 to discuss developments at Mittal and trade union strategies in response.

At the conclusion of the meeting, delegates resolved to work together with their trade union brothers and sisters at Arcelor to create a culture of respect for workers' rights in the new steel giant, setting the standard for all other steel companies to follow.

The IMF will call a high level meeting with affiliates with members in Arecelor and Mittal to discuss a global trade unions response to the changed conditions in the company and steel industry at large.

"This merger will impact on over 300,000 workers lives, yet serious questions remain on industrial policy, job security and workers' rights. The IMF will continue to pursue answers on these important issues by bringing together unions from Arcelor and Mittal," said IMF General Secretary Marcello Malentacchi.

The merger of Mittal Steel and Arcelor, yet to be formally approved by shareholders, will create a steel company three times larger than its nearest rival. According to Reuters, the combined company will produce about 10 per cent of the world's steel, with a turnover of 55 billion euros and employ a total of 334,000 staff.