ROME – The Italian government, the world’s leading steel manufacturer ArcelorMittal and trade unions reached on Thursday a final deal for the acquisition of Italian steelmaker Ilva that includes the condition of retaining 10,700 Ilva jobs after the takeover.
In 2017, the Luxembourg-based multinational corporation had won the bid to acquire the Ilva steel plant, located in the southern city of Taranto, which had been under a bankruptcy receiver for almost four years and was undergoing severe financial difficulties.
“The deal means that public interest will not be served by annulling the tender,” said Italy’s deputy prime minister and labor minister, Luigi Di Maio, whose party, the populist 5-Star Movement, had opposed the takeover when it was approved by the previous Democratic Party government.
“The goal now is to boost the city of Taranto,” Di Maio added.
Under the agreement, ArcelorMittal said it would take on 10,700 of the current 13,500 Ilva employees, 500 more than it had proposed in the first rounds of negotiations. It also agreed to set up a layoff fund of 250 million euros ($290.8 million) to compensate those workers whose employment would be discontinued.
“Starting today, Ilva is a stronger company,” said ArcelorMittal CEO Matthieu Jehl.
Meanwhile, Francesa Re David, the secretary-general of the Italian Steelworkers Federation (FIOM), underscored that the deal still needed to be approved in a vote by all Ilva employees.