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ArcelorMittal's office in France attacked

business Updated: Apr 04, 2008 22:24 IST

AFP
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French workers in an ArcelorMittal steel plant smashed up their boss's office on Friday and threw his furniture and files out of the window after management confirmed hundreds of jobs would be cut.

The attack, witnessed by reportrs and police, who did not intervene, came after about 60 workers tried to break down doors to get into a meeting at which managers told union leaders that 575 jobs would go due to the plant's partial closure.

After the workers' council meeting at the Gandrange plant in northeastern France, members of the CGT union, who had been refused entry, fought briefly with members of another union, the CFDT. There were no injuries.

A group of CGT supporters then headed to the plant director's office to tear it apart, journalists at the site witnessed.

The Gandrange plant of ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, is facing a restructuring plan that would see the elimination of more than half the jobs from a workforce of 1,108 between now and 2009.

CFDT representative Edouard Martin said Friday that the only hope now was that President Nicolas Sarkozy would "keep the promises he made to the workers of Gandrange on February 4."

Sarkozy's office said that the president would meet Monday with union leaders from the plant to discuss its future.

Sarkozy said during a visit to the plant in February that the government was ready to use state funds, despite concerns from the European Union, to invest in the factory "because our goal is to keep factories open in France.