* 1,000 jobs will be affected in Poland
* European market "challenging"
* 630 employees accept voluntary redundancy in Czech
By Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, Jan 27 The world's top steelmaker,
ArcelorMittal, will cut jobs and production levels at
its Polish facilities in order to adapt to lower steel demand in
the European market, it said on Friday.
It also said 630 employees at its operations in the Czech
Republic have so far accepted a voluntary redundancy scheme.
A deepening sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone and
slowing economic growth are forcing a number of steelmakers to
shut or reduce steel capacity.
About 1,000 jobs will be affected at ArcelorMittal's Polish
"The steel sector has been affected by the challenging
economic environment. Steel demand in Europe is still at
approximately only 75 percent of the pre-crisis levels; thus,
ArcelorMittal Poland has introduced a strategy of adapting
capacity utilization to demand levels," a spokesman said in an
"...ArcelorMittal Poland has decided that it is necessary to
adjust employment levels to match them with the levels of
"The employment optimization plan is going to take place via
a number of measures such as, natural attrition, spin-offs,
pre-retirement schemes and separation programmes with severance
payments." it said.
The Luxemburg-based company said 630 employees have so far
accepted voluntary redundancy at ArcelorMittal Ostrava, in the
Czech Republic and this number could grow in the next few days.
In December, the steelmaker gave its employees the option to
take a voluntary departure.
"This campaign will improve the productivity in
ArcelorMittal's plant in Ostrava," the company said in a
"It is a major factor for its survival in the present
uncertain and unstable situation in the steel market, as a
number of European steelmakers are forced to limit production
and capacity due to low demand and surplus stock."
ArcelorMittal in September launched a plan to move
production to more cost-effective steel plants as it aimed to
It announced the permanent closure of steel facilities in
Liege, Belgium, and has temporarily idled blast furnaces in
France, Germany and Poland as well as arc furnaces in Luxembourg
In 2010, ArcelorMittal produced 92,629,000 tonnes of steel,
of which 37 percent was produced in Western Europe and 11
percent in Central and Eastern Europe.
(Reporting by Silvia Antonioli; Editing by Alison Birrane)