A new Amendment to the Collective Agreement at U. S. Steel Košice
Author: U. S. Steel Košice
Košice, April 16, 2020 – Because of the bad situation on the European steel market we announced a reduction in our workforce last summer. The situation on the market has clearly worsened since then. In July last year we warned that the EU manufacturing economy was on the verge of recession, and we asked EU institutions responsible for free and fair European trade protection for adoption of effective measures against unfair imports. The European market has been harmed by imported steel from countries with conditions for doing business which are unequal and unfair for us. In these times it will get much worse if the EU Commission does not take action to support an industry they call strategic to the EU.
Today we are experiencing deep recession, steel demand has fallen by over 50 % in various sectors, EU steel consumption has fallen sharply, and we see massive reductions in production everywhere. We remind the European Commission that we must have a clear policy framework that ensures the steel industry can be competitive globally. We hear there is willingness to help the industry, but this help has to be quick and effective. We have heard this type of talk before, and now we must see if they are really serious about taking meaningful action. Taking into account the need to control costs which are within our control, we must now accelerate our existing program for increasing labor productivity.
As a measure to improve the cost position of our business, last year we announced a reduction in employee headcount at U. S. Steel Košice and its subsidiaries by 2,500 during the period till the end of 2021. Last year 1400 people left the company, and due to the current situation we now have to speed up the process.
After negotiations with the trade unions, we have decided to propose a responsible way of reducing our labor costs. We have agreed on an Amendment to the CLA which offers a one-off severance payment to employees. This offer applies mainly to working retirees or those employees who have less than three years to their retirement age, or those who have worked 35 or more years at USSK. If they finish their working contract by agreement, we offer a one-off payment amounting to 18-times their monthly average wage.
At the same time we are also proceeding again this year with our plan to employ young talented technicians, students of technical schools and universities which we have co-operate with for a long time. “The younger generation of technicians is a guarantee for our industry and the approaching challenges which the industry is facing in a quickly-changing society. We have been supporting technical education on a long-term basis,” states James Bruno, President of U. S. Steel Košice.
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Ján Bača, spokesman
Director Public Affairs
U. S. Steel Košice, s.r.o.
tel.: +421 55 673 4618