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Italian steel unions to down tools at Ilva amid sale uncertainty

Steel trade unions in Italy will embark on a company-wide strike at Ilva International SpA on Sept. 11, Metal Bulletin reported Aug. 31, citing a joint statement from the Fim-Cisl, Fiom-Cgil, Uilm and Usb unions.

The decision came amid uncertainty over the future of Ilva, after Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Industry Minister Luigi Di Maio said the tender for the steel producer's sale might be invalid.

"Since August 6, we have awaited news [on] the resumption of negotiations and the Italian ministry's assessment that the Ilva tender is legitimate," the trade unions said.

"On Monday August 27, we unanimously urged the Italian government to convene all the parties and, to date, we have not yet received a reply," the statement noted.

The unions will also stage a protest outside Italy's Ministry of Economic Development on Sept. 11.

ArcelorMittal, which won a joint bid with Marcegaglia for Ilva in May 2017, said recently that it remained committed to acquire the Italian steelmaker despite Di Maio's comment.

The unions reiterated that Ilva will run out of funds in mid-September and is at risk of shutting down unless the government accelerates the sale process.

The Italian government in late June delayed the handing over of the steel plant to until Sept. 15 in a bid to revise the deal's terms.