European Day of Action to Support the Steel Industry

European Day of Action to Support the Steel Industry

Today, a meeting was held at U. S. Steel Košice, which is part of the European Day of Action to Support the Steel Industry in Europe.   The press briefing organized by OZ KOVO was attended by vice-presidents Marcel Novosad, Silvia Gaálová and Július Lang on behalf of the leadership of U. S. Steel Košice.

"The European steel industry has long faced serious problems, mainly due to cheap steel imports from third countries, where steel producers may not meet demanding environmental requirements. Last year's drop in demand in automotive, construction and other sectors caused steel in Europe to fall significantly by up to 30 percent. Thousands of employees have temporarily lost their jobs and there is a real risk of losing them permanently. There are concerns that European steel production capacity could be reduced by up to 50% in the short term. While Europe is suffering, global steel overcapacity continues to grow, peaking at around 2,500 million tonnes at the end of 2023.   While steel mills in Europe are being preserved, China has increased its production capacity by 2.2% and India by 7.5%," said Juraj Varga,  chairman of RO OZ KOVO U. S. Steel Košice, in his speech.

"For years, we have been calling for fair trade instead of dumping and urging the introduction of effective market protection instruments. Meanwhile,  the EU has transformed itself from a major steel exporter into a major importer. The cost of steel production in the EU has risen by 20 percent.   If we consider only Slovakia, it is even worse, because the price of electricity here is among the highest in Europe. The EU is our market. We are not only competing with Asia, our competitors are also companies in Europe," said Marcel Novosad.

As a warning example, he cited our tinned sheets , which have been a profitable product since the USS arrived in Košice.  However, last year we  had to close one of the lines because our competitors were selling these sheets at prices that are lower than the cost of production.  It is therefore necessary to defend ourselves against the flood of products that are sold at unfair prices in Europe.

Trade unionists also want to send a signal to MEPs in this way. They formulated key demands, including ensuring a level playing field for European steel producers and limiting steel imports from so-called third countries. They also demand truthful reporting of real environmental impacts and contributions to greenhouse gas emissions. Another requirement is continued environmental and decarbonisation investments in European steelworks with economic support for greening. Other requirements include compensating as far as possible for indirect EU ETS costs reflected in electricity prices, or exempting steel firms from paying for emission allowances.

  • So that the steel heart of Europe does not stop beating

"The steel industry in Europe today is at a crossroads and is in serious crisis. At the same time, metallurgy and steel are the sectors that create relatively stable jobs with relatively good working conditions. It is therefore crucial for the trade unions to maintain not only the competitiveness of this sector, but also jobs, so that the steel heart of Europe does not stop beating.

"I think that European politicians have also realised to some extent that even the green transition will not be possible without industry, even without metallurgical industry. Decarbonisation should not mean the total de industrialisation of Europe and the displacement of industry outside the European continent.

The metallurgical industry will require billions of euros of additional investments in modernization, innovation, technological changes, but also investments in employees, in their retraining and retraining,"   said Monika Benedeková, chairwoman of OZ KOVO.

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Photo: Arpád Köteles

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Joint Statement

After Meeting Between Government of Slovakia Representatives And Senior Executives of Nippon Steel Corporation / U. S. Steel Košice, February 9, 2024 at 3pm JST


On April 18, 2023, the company U. S. Steel Košice announced the names of organizations and projects that will receive support under its Together for the Region 2023 grant program.

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