Four injured in Sardinian Alcoa protest

Govt gloomy on aluminium plant's prospects

Four injured in Sardinian Alcoa protest

(ANSA) - Cagliari, September 25 - Tension remained high in Cagliari on Tuesday after workers at the threatened Alcoa aluminium smelter in Portovesme clashed with law enforcement officers outside the regional labour department office. Four people - an Alcoa worker, a union representative and two police officers - were reportedly injured in the clashes, which broke out after Alcoa workers decided to stage a protest in the Sardinian capital over the alleged lack of social security guarantees for temporary workers and contractors. The workers had earlier approached Labour Minister Elsa Fornero with their concerns, but she replied that they needed to take up the matter with the regional authorities. Union representatives were due to meet with the director-general of the regional labour department on Tuesday to discuss the problem. The government has been in talks with the American aluminium giant and the unions to try and find a way to keep the smelter in operation while a buyer is sought to take it on. There have been several expressions of interest but nothing concrete and Industry Minister Corrado Passera has described the challenge of keeping the factory open as "almost impossible".

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