Labor union raises layoff alarm at Italy's ILVA steel mill

'Don't use legal standoff as excuse to fire' says UIL

Labor union raises layoff alarm at Italy's ILVA steel mill

(ANSA) - Rome, August 22 - Italian labor union UIL on Wednesday called on the ILVA steelmaker not to resort to temporary layoffs following a legal standoff between the company and the government, which could lead to a temporary closing of the facility. "I believe that in this moment temporary layoffs for workers at ILVA in Taranto are to be excluded. They weren't under consideration at the beginning of the summer and I think the market conditions haven't changed," Rocco Palombella, head of UIL, said Wednesday. "I hope that this phase won't be used as an excuse to put the workers in a difficult situation. We appeal to the responsibility of the Riva group to ensure that this crisis continues to be managed the way it has been these past months". Riva is the owner of the ILVA plant, in the southern Italian city of Taranto. 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. A review court Monday said ongoing operations over the years at ILVA's Taranto steelworks had resulted in severe pollution, confirming the decision made earlier in the month to close down the plant while the necessary upgrades were carried out.

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