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    Flémalle: Segal staff on strike

    © Belga
    Staff representatives at Segal feel that the extension of the production line by 30,000 tonnes justifies a pay rise, given the extra volume and training required.
    © Belga

    A strike picket line has been organised at the Segal factory, located on Ivoz Ramet, in Flémalle. This has been ongoing since last Friday. The Belga press agency has learned this from trade union sources. Workers at the company, which produces some 600,000 tonnes of galvanised steel annually are demanding a wage increase. This follows a reorganisation of the work structure as a result of an investment of twenty million euros, to increase the production line by 30,000 tonnes.

    The staff decided to come out on strike on Friday. This is a first in the company’s 34-year existence. They wish to send out a strong signal to the management. This is the view of staff representatives, who also mention that the company operates using continuous-flow production.

    Workers consider that the work reorganisation will affect numerous roles. They also consider that these alterations, accompanied as they are by training, should lead to a wage increase. They see this as a moral obligation which the management are not currently meeting. Trade unions said early this morning that discussions were scheduled to resume with the management during the coming hours. This is with a view to finding a solution which both parties agree on.

    Segal, the sister manufacturer to Eurogal, the galvanising line of Arcelor Mittal, has been owned for ten years by Tata Steel. Tata is an Indian group specialising in the steel industry. The current owner bought the company, Corus, which was formed in 2003 by the merger of Hoogovens and British Steel. Both of these companies were connected with Cockerill-Sambre. The company thus had the impetus to start up this factory in 1983, which was considered revolutionary at the time.

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times