AFTER A STRIKE LASTING 44 DAYS Italian trade unions have greatly improved an industrial plan in which the steel-maker Thyssen Krupp proposed shutting down one furnace at its Terni plant while unilaterally terminating company agreements with the unions. Members of FIM-CISL, FIOM-CGIL, and UILM voted overwhelmingly for the new deal which will see both furnaces stay open for at least four years, investment to the tune of €140 million in the period 2014-18 and a guaranteed output of a minimum 1 million tonnes of cast steel per year. The original 575 redundancies have been reduced to 305, all of which will be voluntary. The local regional government, Umbria, has undertaken to provide vocational retraining for both redundant Thyssen Krupp workers and those employed by sub-contractors. Night work, productivity, seniority and Sunday bonuses will be preserved. The bishop of Terni, and even the Pope, had got involved during the industrial action with Pope Francis making ‘a heartfelt appeal, that a logic of profit does not prevail, but one of solidarity and justice’.
Terni steel workers protest in St.Peter’s Square, Rome