(ANSA) - Bari, September 6 - Premier Mario Monti assured viewers of a televised interview that his administration had "not forgotten" the workers at the troubled ILVA steel plant in the in the southern port city of Taranto. Monti spoke with the director of TG Norba while visiting the city of Bari in the region of Puglia where the plant is located. The government and ILVA have been embroiled in a fierce legal standoff since a local court ordered the partial closure of the plant for environmental and health violations over a number of years. "The question of ILVA is a problem that is challenging the modern business world and forcing the question of the feasibility to produce certain goods in full compliance with environmental requirements," said the premier. Courts closed parts of the steel mill in a move which ILVA has said will essentially halt production not just in Taranto but at its other plants as well. The company, workers, the unions, and the Italian government have all been working together to keep the plant operating while the environmental upgrades are made.