(Trinidad Express) Steel producer ArcelorMittal said yesterday it was temporarily sending home 30 workers at its Direct Reduced Iron (DIR) facility at Point Lisas because of reduced product demand.
“We have not made moves to fire anyone. We have started proceedings into looking at the reorganisation of operations in one of the DIR areas. We have made the decision that there is going to be a temporary shutdown of the facility,” Fazad Mohammed, corporate communications manager at ArcelorMittal, told the Express by phone yesterday.
He said the company suspended the contracts of temporary workers, including contractors.
Included in the 30 are employees in the DIR area who are under evaluation.
Mohammed added that the company was looking to get operations back on track by January.
The trade union representing ArcelorMittal workers, the Steel Workers Union of Trinidad and Tobago, said they had heard of the action but had received no word yet from the company about it.
Union president Lex Lovell said so far only one worker had come to the union with a letter from the company, indicating his duties were temporarily suspended.
He said he did not believe the company’s claim that it intended to reopen operations in January “because you cannot calculate profitability in the next few months”.