A Belgian steelworker has committed suicide following the loss of his job at a steel plant in the town of Liege.
The 45-year-old father and husband left a suicide note blaming Lakshmi Mittal, who owns the ArcelorMittal plant, for taking away his job and family.
“I tried to give the letter back to him but he didn’t want it. This closure made him suffer greatly. Each time I saw him, each time I came to his place or when he visited me, this was the only topic of conversation,” said union representative Frédérick Gillot.
A minute of silence was held for Alain Vigneron during a meeting of the FGTB Union, which opposes the job cuts.
Robert Rouzweeuw is President of the FGTB Union at ArcelorMittal in Liege:
“We talked about support groups but with the significance of all the looming job cuts, it is very difficult to follow everybody.”
ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company has blamed falling demand and overcapacity in Europe for the job losses.
Protests by around 2,000 angry workers earlier this year led to riots, with police using water cannon and tear gas.