Four-day working week at Slovak US Steel Kosice may be extended to June

After an agreement with trade unionists, a four-day working week at steelworks US Steel Kosice (USSK) could continue at also in June, US Steel Kosice CEO James E. Bruno admitted on Tuesday, adding that it was unlikely that the unfavorable situation on the steel market will improve in the coming months. Recall that the management of the metallurgical company agreed with the trade unions on a four-day working week for May for the time being and employees receive 70% wage compensation for a day when they stay at home. Bruno said that Q1 was bad for the steel market and there were not any indications that would suggest that the macroeconomic situation should change for the rest of the year, pointing out that a lot of steel from third countries is getting into the EU under unfair market conditions, which puts the Kosice steelmaker at a disadvantage. According to him, the effectiveness of protective measures by the EU has proved insufficient.

Economy Minister Peter Ziga (leftist senior ruling party Smer-SD) held talks with the USSK president on Tuesday. According to him, the steel industry in Europe is currently in a more difficult situation than last year, which can mean lower revenues as well as lower profits. Yet, Ziga noted that he appreciated that US Steel has decided to continue investing in Kosice and possibly increase the labor productivity needed to maintain competitiveness.

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