Sud; Puglia; Taranto
Location of affected unit(s)
Manufacture Of Basic Metal And Fabricated Metal Products
Manufacture Of Basic Metals
24.52 - Casting of steel

5,000 jobs
Number of planned job losses
Job loss
Announcement Date
26 November 2012
Employment effect (start)
27 November 2012
Foreseen end date


ILVA, Italian-owned (Riva group) steel plant, is closing the steel cold-rolling facility at the plant located in Taranto, with the consequent loss of at least 5,000 jobs. The company’s decision was taken following the public prosecutor’s verdict to shut down the furnaces. The judge also ordered the confiscation of steel and semi-finished products due to a corruption probe. In addition, seven of ILVA’s managers have been arrested on suspicion of bribing officials to cover up major health and environmental threats.

Recent scientific studies revealed high level of minerals, metals and carcinogenic dioxins in the Taranto area; moreover, it is reported that in the last 15 years respiratory conditions and cancer rates have been substantially higher. The prosecutors claim that emissions have killed 400 people in 13 years. In August, the magistrate ordered the shutdown of the most contaminating furnaces, placing the members of the Riva family under house arrest. ILVA was later given authorization from the government to continue operations on the condition that it cut emissions and cleaned up the plant.

The Italian government has announced a meeting with the social partners on 29 November in order to find adequate measures to deal with the situation.

The trade unions reacted to the company’s decision by organising a sit-in at the Taranto plant, and calling a 24-hour strike. The trade unions are worried about the future of the Taranto plant and about the consequences of its closure for the ILVA plants located at Genoa, Novi Ligure, Racconigi, Marghera and Patrica. The plant has resumed limited activities and 5000 workers were given paid leave until the government’s decision is finalized. Furthermore, the company has been discussing with the unions a redundancy plan for 1,942 employees, on the grounds of severe crisis that has hit the steel industry.

ILVA has around 11,500 workers in Taranto. The Riva group has around 22,000 employees worldwide.


  • 27 November 2012: Il corriere della sera
  • 27 November 2012: Il Sole 24 Ore


Eurofound (2012), ILVA, Closure in Italy, factsheet number 74561, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/74561.