Railway workers' union calls indefinite strike at ILVA plant

'Security, safety issues' the motive

Railway workers' union calls indefinite strike at ILVA plant

Taranto, February 18 - The union representing some railway workers at the troubled ILVA steel plant in the southern port city of Taranto called an indefinite strike Monday and revoked a 2010 agreement. The USB says it is protesting safety and security issues arising from a reorganization that was part of the November 2010 agreement. And it accused management of "foolhardy behaviour" towards workers. Last October, an investigation was launched after a 29-year-old worker at the plant was found dead near a locomotive engine inside the plant. ILVA has for months been at the centre of a major industrial and environmental dispute since a court in the port town ordered the shutdown of its smelting facilities and mineral park in July, saying the steelworks was the source of an ongoing environmental disaster. The court accused ILVA of emitting toxic dust and other elements that threatened the health of nearby residents. The court-ordered partial shutdown sparked worker protests, strikes and a flurry of meetings between government and business leaders to find a way to save the plant, which is considered crucial for Italian industry and an important source of employment in Italy's underdeveloped south.

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