Venezuela to Nationalize Argentine-Controlled Steel Firm

Ternium-Sidor will be natioanalized after union contract talks broke down.

Venezuela will nationalize the country's biggest steelmaker Ternium-Sidor, controlled by Argentine capital, after talks on a union contract broke down, Vice President Ramon Carrizales said April 8.

"Sidor is going to be nationalized. (Carrizales) tried to get the company to understand the workers' concerns but it did not accept, and in the end, the nationalization was announced," Jose Rodriguez, president of the Steelworkers union, said.

After 15 months of negotiations failed to bear fruit, President Hugo Chavez asked Carrizales to meet April 8 with Ternium-Sidor management on a contract for almost 12,000 workers.

Chavez on April 6 underscored that his government was "pro-workers," and that foreign firms must "comply with (Venezuelan) laws."

Argentina's Techint owns 60% of Sidor, which produced 4.3 million tons of liquid steel in 2006.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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