Steel giant and unions commit to innovative health and safety program



    MONTREAL, Sept. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The world's largest steel company
Arcelor Mittal and trade unions representing its employees from over 20
countries today announced a new and innovative approach to Health and Safety
concerns in the company.
    Meeting in Montreal at the International Metalworkers' Federation's first
world conference of Arcelor Mittal and its trade unions, the company and the
unions committed themselves to a joint programme of education and training to
raise health and safety standards throughout the company.
    The new approach will see the creation of a task force of trade union and
company health and safety experts from across the globe that will target
plants in the group in order to work to dramatically improve their
performance. Through our commitment to work jointly together we can work
towards our vision to eliminate hazards workers encounter in their daily work.
    Marcello Malentacchi General Secretary of the International Metalworkers'
Federation explained, "Occupational health and safety is undoubtedly the
single most important issue for working people, irrespective of which region
of the world or country in which they happen to live.
    "It is a proven fact that union workplaces are safer workplaces and we
are looking forward to working with the company in not only making health and
safety its number one priority but a true reality."
    Leo Gerard International President of the United Steelworkers added
"Arcelor Mittal is one of the world's most profitable steel companies, but the
true test of any great company is not only on the balance sheet but the way it
treats its workers.
    "This agreement will demonstrate to Arcelor Mittal employees across the
globe that their welfare will be the foundation of the company's continued
success and that solidarity for unions means more than just empty words."
    Michel Arsenault, USW Quebec Director spoke about recents experiences
saying "Quebec Steelworkers went to Algeria and Mexico to exchange with
colleagues who also worked for Arcelor Mittal. They realized that they must
intensify their contacts and develop solidarity so that the wages and working
conditions may progress in every plant owned by this company".
    "The development of a company must not be based solely on labor costs but
rather on innovation, for example."
    According to Arcelor Mittal President and Chief Executive Officer Lakshmi
Mittal, "Arcelor Mittal sets Health and Safety above all other priorities and
is committed to achieving the highest standards for our employees. We have
instilled a strong safety culture at every level of the company that is
supported by a robust set of safety standards.
    "We are pleased and encouraged in joining our trade unions in achieving
our joint vision to be the safest steel company in the world. One of our first
joint initiatives since the merger of Arcelor and Mittal was the undertaking
of a global safety and health day on March 6, 2007 wherein management and
trade unions from around the world simultaneously committed to achieving our
safety and health goals."
    The International Metalworkers' Federation represents the interests of 25
million metalworkers in 100 countries around the world.

    Notes for editors:

    Arcelor Mittal is the world's largest steel company with 61 plants in 27
    countries.
    The International Metalworkers' Federation and the United Steelworkers
    jointly hosted the global conference in Montreal, Canada.
    Trade unions from the following countries took part in the meeting:
    Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany,
    India, Italy, Liberia, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Mexico, Poland, Romania,
    Russia, South Africa, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom, United
    States of America.




For further information:

For further information: Michel Arsenault, Quebec Director, USW, (514)
850-2240; Kristyne Peter, +41 79 205 44 58, kpeter@imfmetal.org


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