ArcelorMittal shuts down blast furnace at Belgian plant

April 8th, 2009 - 10:40 pm ICT by IANS  

ArcelorMittal Brussels, April 8 (IANS) Steel giant ArcelorMittal is shutting down one of two furnaces in its Ghent plant in western Belgium, EuAsiaNews reported quoting local media.
The closure will be temporary and staff manager Guy Bontinck said that the workforce should not fear for their jobs.

Earlier Wednesday, Arcelor-Mittal announced a similar closure in Liege in eastern Belgium. The furnace shut-downs come as steel demand remains extremely low.

ArcelorMittal employs 5,600 workers in Ghent. In Liege, a number of temporary contracts will not be extended. A thousand workers are employed in the divisions affected in Liege.

The company management is looking at early retirement schemes for white collar workers, but insists that it will do everything it can to prevent sackings.

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