Edouard Martin was certain he and about 600 workers would keep their jobs at ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in eastern France after President Francois Hollande floated the idea of nationalization to prevent a planned shutdown in late November.
French business leaders and three unions reached an accord that economists say marks the beginning of President Francois Hollande’s effort to revamp the jobs market while falling short of a labor revolution.
Arnaud Montebourg, the French industry minister who last year addressed a labor conflict by saying the world’s largest steel company was not wanted in France, is laying out the welcome mat for foreign investors.
President Francois Hollande’s threat to nationalize an ArcelorMittal steel plant, while saving 600 jobs, may curb the creation of new employment by reinforcing France’s notoriety as a difficult place for business.
ArcelorMittal won’t go ahead with planned job cuts at its Florange steel mill in northeast France and will invest 180 million euros ($234 million) in the plant over the next five years, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said.
The French government should focus on improving the economic environment and avoid interfering with companies’ strategies and management, Laurence Parisot, head of the French employers’ association, told Les Echos in an interview.