Pope Francis Issues Appeal to Save Italian Steelworkers' Jobs

Warns German Company: «You Don’t Play With Employment»

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Pope Francis on Wednesday made an appeal for hundreds of steelworkers who risk losing their jobs at ThyssenKrupp’s Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) stainless steel plant in Terni.

In comments directed towards the Italian faithful after his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square, the Holy Father warned the German company that «you don’t play with employment».

ThyssenKrupp wants to cut 550 jobs at the plant in the central Umbria region as part of a restructuring programme. Last month, it accepted a government appeal to put the plan on hold so talks could take place after industrial action.

«I express my deep concern for the grave situation that many families are experiencing in Terni because of the plans of ThyssenKrupp,» the Pope said. «Once again I make a heartfelt appeal so that the logic of profit does not prevail, but that of solidarity and justice. You don’t play with employment and those who take work away for reasons of money and business and to earn more should know that they are depriving people of dignity».

In March, Francis met around 7,000 steelworkers from Terni and on Sunday a delegation from the city attended his Angelus address.

The Pope has frequently voiced his concern about unemployment, especially among young people, and has called on business and political leaders to do more to create and maintain jobs.

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