Tuesday, April 15, 2008

3,000 steel workers begin strike at Arcelor Mittal steel company in Romania

Canadian Press

BUCHAREST, Romania — Guards used tear gas today on hundreds of striking workers who were trying to storm a factory owned by the Arcelor Mittal Galati steel company in eastern Romania.

Some 3,600 steel workers have begun a strike at the plant to demand higher wages, said trade union leader Gheorghe Tiber in a statement.

The company is offering a monthly increase of the equivalent of $44 for those earning the lowest salaries, and a percentage increase for those on higher salaries.

The union wants each worker to have a monthly increase of at least $123. The plant employs some 13,700 workers.

Earlier Monday, about 800 striking steel workers threw water, bread and stones in the factory yard before trying to storm the building. They were repelled by guards.

Arcelor Mittal Galati is part of ArcelorMittal SA, the world's largest steelmaker. It bought the plant from the Romanian state in 2001.

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