U.S. Steel job cuts highlight EU sector woes


As day breaks through smudged tram windows, Slovak workers heading to the U.S. Steel Kosice plant mull their fate after hearing the company plans to sack a fifth of them.

Some stare silently at the morning haze behind the chimneys of the sprawling communist-era factory. With 12,000 workers, it is central Europe’s largest integrated steel producer.

It is also the leading employer in this poor region of eastern Slovakia, a eurozone state of 5.4 million people heavily reliant on auto production.

With regional unemployment at around eight percent — well above the national average of 4.9 percent — the job cuts will be painful.

“Everyone’s afraid. Young people took loans. What will they do if they lose their jobs?” a mill worker with 20 years under his belt who gave his name as Jozef, asked AFP.

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