ArcelorMittal Workers Storm Annual Meeting

May 12, 2009
Police were called to the scene

Angry employees of ArcelorMittal stormed an annual general meeting at the steel giant's headquarters in Luxembourg on May 12 to protest against plans to cut jobs, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Police fired rubber bullets after a number of people broke down the building's doors and smashed ground floor windows, then threw smoke flares and boards from inside.

Around 1,500 demonstrators had gathered outside the ArcelorMittal headquarters in the city center, according to a union leader and police. One unionist who tried to break through a police cordon was arrested.

A television cameraman told AFP he had been hurt by an object apparently fired or thrown by police, who were gathered in force around and inside the building.

The demonstrators were not met by company officials, as they had demanded, and their rally was finally broken up by police.

Faced with falling demand for steel sparked by the global economic crisis, ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, announced in November that it might have to slash up to 9,000 jobs worldwide, including 6,000 in Europe.

The workers, mainly from France and Belgium, have been angered by the company's decision to shut down 25 furnaces in Europe.

Plants have been operating at around 50% capacity for the last few months.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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