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Six bosses of steelmaker ArcelorMittal have been freed after being held against their will for 48 hours.

They had been kept trapped in their offices by Belgian workers protesting against the closure of two blast furnaces near Liege.

About 200 people had gathered outside the building making it impossible for the management to leave.

Fabrice Jacquemart, spokesperson of the FGTB union, confirmed that his union had held six members of ArcelorMittal’s management.

“There were no physical problems, there was no brawl, people were held in a dignified way,” he said on Wednesday.

Jacquemart said that negotiations over the future of ArcelorMittal’s site near Liege were deadlocked. “What we were going to tell the management is negotiations are not moving forward, so you are not going to get out of here until they move forward. We decided to make our point firmly and neatly,” he said.

The strikes continued, halting steel production at Arcelormittal Liege, a spokeswoman for the steelmaker said.

“We hope the unions will be ready to proceed with social dialogue through the appropriate channels,” ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

Copyright © 2014 euronews

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