International Steel Mills

Protest forces shutdown of ArcelorMittal Mexico’s blast furnace

Written by Laura Miller

Steel production at ArcelorMittal Mexico has been interrupted due to an “illegal protest” and blockade outside the company’s mill in Lazaro Cardenas, Mich.

Some Sindicato Minero union members, dissatisfied with the profit-sharing payments they received, have been obstructing access to the mill since Friday, May 24.

As a result, ArcelorMittal had to stop blast furnace operations to ensure safety and mitigate risk, it said in a statement translated from Spanish on Wednesday, June 5.

“The illegal blockade … has resulted in the loss of more than 100,000 tons of production, generating an operational and financial crisis with serious economic repercussions,” the company said in the statement.

It added that the events are endangering the continuity of the mill’s operations.

The union had previously issued a strike notice to the company if an agreement was not reached by June 4. However, on June 3, the union extended the pre-strike period, setting a new strike date of June 11 at noon.

ArcelorMittal Mexico maintains it is open to dialogue with the union and has urged “dissidents to channel their demands through appropriate legal channels.”

The Lazaro Cardenas steel mill has an annual production capacity of 2.5 million metric tons (mt) of flat steel, 1.8 million mt of long products, and 1 million mt of slabs.

ArcelorMittal Mexico could not be reached for more information.

Laura Miller

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