EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change



Geographic Location

Country: Belgium
Region: Prov. Liège; Région Wallonne
Location of affected unit(s): Liège (Cockerill-Sambre)


Sector: Manufacturing
Manufacture of basic metals and fabricated metal products, except machinery and equipment
24.1 - Manufacture of basic iron and steel and of ferro-alloys
Number Employed: 5800
Group: Arcelor

Employment Effects

Announcement Date: 24-01-2003
Planned Job Reductions min: 1700
Planned Job Reductions max: 2500
Type of Restructuring: Internal restructuring
Employment Effect Start: 01-01-2005
Foreseen End Date: 01-12-2008
Direct Dismissals: 1700
Other Job Reduction Measures: 5000

Additional Information

Arcelor is restructuring its activities all over Europe, with the closure of 4 sites. The Belgian site of Liège will see the closure of two blast furnaces, one rolling mill and one steel works. It total, 2,700 jobs will be cut. Moreover, it is feared that many subcontractors and linked activities will also be affected (see the closure of Ackers, February 2004). A social agreement has been signed on December 19 2003, putting the layoff timeline in 2009, and stating there would be no direct dismissals. Arcelor will start new investments, and will create new jobs in the unit of Carlam, in Charleroi, Belgium. Arcelor has also committed itself to participate in the creation of 2,700 jobs in the region, to cleanse the industrial ruins, and to pay a 20 million euro fine for disinvesting the industrial tool. A local not-profit-organisation has been created in February, the GEIE (groupement européen d’intérêt économique), to supervise the the rehabilitation process. On 26 April 2005, Arcelor went ahead with the closure of the last but one active blast furnace in the Liège steel producing area (East of Belgium). This is the first implementation of the decision taken by Arcelor to close the hot phasesof its continental sites, which are less competitive than those situated near the sea. The closure of the last blast furnace in the Liège region is scheduled for 2009.