ILVA president warns 8,000 workers could be put on leave

Italian steelworks struggles in labor, environmental crisis

ILVA president warns 8,000 workers could be put on leave

Taranto, January 23 - The president of the troubled ILVA steelworks in southern Italy warned Wednesday that the company could put as many as 8,000 workers on indefinite leave in the next few days if the plant was not fully reopened. According to labor union sources, Bruno Ferrante said 6-8,000 workers' jobs now hang in the balance after a judge in Taranto ruled Tuesday that a government plan to avoid a closure of the ILVA steelworks, violates some articles of Italy's Constitution. In a statement Tuesday, Patrizia Todisco said two of the law's articles "are in strident contrast with the Constitutional principle of separation of State powers". A law decree passed late last year was designed to make it possible for the embattled steel plant to continue operating while it conducts much-needed clean-up measures. But rather than implementing the decree, the Taranto prosecutor's office this month filed a complaint in Constitutional Court against the government for conflict of powers between judiciary and State as well as violation of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. On Monday Italy's environment minister and the ILVA steel company publicly pressed for the Taranto judiciary to release its grip on the embattled ILVA steel plant in the Italian southern port city. By Wednesday no clear resolution to the deadlock was in sight.

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