Rubber bullets fly as ArcelorMittal workers storm AGM

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Mainly French and Belgian workers were met with rubber bullets as they attacked the offices of the steel giant.

LUXEMBOURG -- Police fired rubber bullets Tuesday when ArcelorMittal employees stormed the venue of the global steel giant's annual general meeting in Luxembourg in protest over plans to cut jobs.

Police opened fire after a number of protesters were seen breaking down the doors at ArcelorMittal's headquarters, smashing ground-floor windows and throwing smoke flares from inside.

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

A television cameraman told AFP he was injured by an object apparently fired or thrown by police who had gathered in force both around and inside the building.

Journalists were helped out of the building by police, but the meeting, being held on the third floor, carried on.

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

Faced with falling steel demand amid a global downturn, ArcelorMittal – the world's biggest steelmaker - announced in November it might have to slash up to 9,000 jobs worldwide, including 6,000 in Europe.

The protesters, mainly from France and Belgium, have been angered by the company's decision to shut down several furnaces in Europe. Only nine of its 25 furnaces in Europe are operating due to reduced demand.

A strike was also underway Tuesday at ArcelorMittal plants in the Belgian city of Liege.


1 Comment To This Article

  • Joe posted:

    on 13th May 2009, 23:23:32 - Reply

    Coming to America soon, courtesy of Obama...