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France Reaches Deal to Save 600 Jobs at Steel Plant

The French government vehemently opposed steel giant ArcelorMittal’s plans to close two blast furnaces at a Lorraine facility and keep just a rolling mill there. The government’s preference was for keeping the plant intact and selling it to another firm, calling for temporary state ownership until the sale was made. But there’s overcapacity in Europe’s steel industry, and owner Lashmi Mittal, offered the blast furnaces for a single euro, reports the New York Times. The government and company quickly reached a deal protecting 600 jobs at the blast furnaces and promising new investment. The two blast furnaces will remain closed, with workers shifted to other areas. ArcelorMittal has more than 20,000 workers throughout France. ArcelorMittal bought its French assets in a controversial 2006 deal, prior to the global debt crisis; the contract’s terms depended on a favorable business climate, not how analysts characterize most of the eurozone these days. The feud and the deal demonstrate the lengths governments will go to prevent high-profile layoffs. – YaleGlobal

France Reaches Deal to Save 600 Jobs at Steel Plant

Deal ends standoff after ArcelorMittal proposed selling off some assets to ease debt, French Socialist government threatened nationalized
Nicola Clark
The New York Times, 4 December 2012
The deal between ArcelorMittal and the French government is described in the New York Times.

Stanley Reed contributed reporting from London.

Source:The New York Times
Rights:© 2012 The New York Times Company