Totorizzo (Raccomar): “ Arcelor Mittal's decision is against Taranto”
By entrusting the contract to LBH, the iron and steel group “frustrates and sets aside the professionalism of Taranto agents”
The dispute over Arcelor Mittal's decision to entrust the international group LBH with ship agency services for ships calling at the port of Taranto, serving former Ilva's plant, is still continuing.
In fact, the Indian iron and steel giant's decision "is unacceptable. It is against Taranto”, declared Raccomar (Puglia shipping agents association) President Vito Totorizzo, who attended the recent meeting of the Puglia Region Committee, during which the Taranto maritime cluster shared its opposition and concerns related to Arcelor Mittal's decision with local institutions.
Although the local branch LBH Italy, recently incorporated by LBH Group, made several issues clear, anticipating also possible “actions to protect its interests”, ship agents working in the Ionic port did not change their minds: “Arcelor Mittal's decision is unacceptable – Totorizzo explained to Ship2Shore – because the system implemented so far by Italsider and Ilva during the Riva family's management always took into consideration the quality and the professional skills of Taranto ship agents. In fact, their agreement provided for agencies to act as agents by rotation, while arrival and departure manifests were also entrusted, by rotation, to all customs agents”.
On the contrary, according to Roccamar president, the decision of the new owners of the plant “frustrates and sets aside the professionalism of Taranto agents. On top of that, they even hired a retired colleague as ship agent, they stole employees trained by other agencies and they caused the crisis of some 20 agencies, with their owners and employees”.
According to Totorizzo, therefore, Arcelor Mittal's behaviour “is against Taranto: while on the one hand they require the suspension of criminal liability for the reclamation of the plant, on the other they are causing the crisis of an entire port community”.
“I believe that Arcelor Mittal's legitimate purpose was purchasing former Ilva's plant in order to produce steel, not to put Taranto ship agents under liquidation”, Totorizzo concluded.