On November 17 and 18 there was a meeting in the southern Italian city of Taranto of labor union officials from particular member states of the European Union representing employees in the industrial sector of metals production, but especially steelmaking. The agenda of the meeting, which was attended by KOVO U. S. Steel Košice Labor Union Council Chairman Mikuláš Hintoš, who is also a member of the Basic Metals Committee of the European labor union industriAll Europe, included a discussion on the complicated situation in the steelmaking area as a result of steel production experiencing problems which the producers themselves are not able to resolve even in cooperation with their social partners.
Dumping prices for imported steel products from countries outside of Europe, above all from China, coupled with unrealistic requirements for emissions reduction and high energy prices, are forcing our steelmaking companies into a blind alley. Labor unions and employers associations alike on both European and national levels must demand urgent solutions from representatives of individual governments and the European Commission as a whole. The fact that this meeting took place in Taranto was also part of its symbolism. This is the home of the ILVA works, the largest steelworks in Europe. It was only saved from bankruptcy however by the Italian Government, which stepped in the take the ailing company into direct administration.