Sink metal to save Ukrainian economy | war in Ukraine

A heavy responsibility that Galushkin Mykola, head of production, does not take lightly: : pour] soutenir le gagne-pain des milliers d’employés et […] donner un coup de pouce aux finances de l’Ukraine.”,”text”:”On a un devoir de prendre soin des familles des employés. C’est d’ailleurs pour cela que l’entreprise a redémarré le plus tôt possible ses [activités: pour] soutenir le gagne-pain des milliers d’employés et […] donner un coup de pouce aux finances de l’Ukraine.”}}”>We have a duty to take care of the employees’ families. This is also the reason why the company carried out its restart [activités : pour] Support the livelihoods of thousands of employees and […] Give a boost to Ukraine’s finances.

Galushkin Mykola, Production Manager at ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Arnould

The integrated mining and steel plant includes iron mines, ore processing plants and two open pit mines, a coking plant, steel shops and three metal rolling shops. The company, which employs more than 22,000 people and supports tens of thousands indirectly, was forced to cease operations when the war began. Almost…

The Kryvyi Rih Metallurgical Plant employs 22,000 people in the region.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Arnould

Mining activities in the region were put on hold last February as a precaution amid fears of power outages that could have prevented miners from being evacuated. With raw material extraction at a standstill, one of the largest employers in the Kryvyi Rih region had to reduce its activities in the blast furnaces to a minimum.

Galushkin Mykola was very concerned as closing a steel mill was out of the question. Not only can such a closure last several weeks and seriously damage the facilities, but the complexity of the process sometimes forces you to wait a few years before you can get the foundries back online.

ArcelorMittal Steelworks in Ukraine was established in 1934.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Arnould

However, with the help of the railways and the Ukrainian government, this ArcelorMittal plant, privatized in 1996, was able to have the minimum necessary to work in slow motion, thanks to a supply of raw materials from Poland, especially Russia. At the beginning of the war, the supply chain was completely shut down.

Something to relieve employees like Donskov Anton, a Ukrainian who takes care of operations in the control room of blast furnace number 6: I was concerned because I feared the factory would be closed by the end of the war. With the partial resumption of activities, I have enough money to feed and provide for my family.

Donskov Anton feared that the Kryvyi Rih factory would remain closed until the end of the war.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Arnould

He is also proud, he says, of contributing to his country’s economic recovery and of being able to Help the army defend his country. A patriotic impulse that also persuaded no fewer than 2,000 employees of the metallurgical company to do military service.

In her office at the company’s extensive premises in Kryvyi Rih, Natalya Marynyuk, the leader of the workers’ union, highlights the commitment of its members, who have left their families to defend the country against the Russian onslaught: We have provided them with bulletproof vests, helmets, suitcases and bags and we are helping their families who stayed in town.

Natalya Marynyuk, leader of the workers’ union, underscores the commitment of its members to the war effort.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Arnould

So far, eight factory workers have been killed in action and three are missing.

Right now, the company can only employ 62% of its employees due to the forced slowdown in activities, on top of pay cuts.

Before the war began, ArcelorMittal Kryvyi Rih exported 85% of its production to 115 countries. The steel produced in the native city of Volodymyr Zelenskyy was used notably in the construction of the Burj Khalifa building in Dubai.

Some workers at Ukraine’s Kryvyi Rih steel mill have been smiling since the plant reopened.

Photo: Radio Canada / Frédéric Arnould

With the closure of the ports of Odessa and Mykolaiv, the company had to resort to transporting its products by rail. While pre-invasion exports were mainly to the Middle East, North and West Africa, Ukrainian steel is now shipped to Europe, the United States and Canada, among others.

Galushkin Mykola is keeping his fingers crossed in hopes of ramping up several departments at the plant in the coming weeks. A hope that everyone here cherishes, even if they know that the war could take a dramatic turn for their country at any time. Meanwhile, the steel keeps flowing…

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