Nippon Steel to Put Workers on Temporary Leave over Virus

Economy

Tokyo, April 4 (Jiji Press)--Nippon Steel Corp. <5401> is considering putting workers on temporary leave in response to slumping demand for steel for automobiles and other products amid the spread of the new coronavirus, informed sources said Saturday.

The major Japanese steelmaker last took such a measure for a year from April 2009, following the global financial crisis triggered by the September 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers.

Nippon Steel is in talks with its labor union, comprising some 30,000 employees, on a plan to have workers take one-day leave twice a month, the sources said.

The company hopes to put the measure into action within this month once an agreement is reached. It plans to pay leave allowances using the government's employment adjustment subsidy program.

In February, Nippon Steel announced decisions to shut down its steelworks in the city of Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan, and idle some blast furnaces, reflecting the global economic slowdown stemming from U.S.-China trade war.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press