By Alberto Delclaux
Thyssenkrupp AG (>> thyssenKrupp) said late Thursday that it reached a collective agreement with trade union IG Metall on the planned merger of its European steel business with Tata Steel Ltd. (500470.BY), applying to all of Thyssenkrupp's German steel sites.
The settlement "assures the continuation of employment until Sept. 30, 2026," the German company said, adding that the 2,000 job cuts that it announced previously will be carried out in a manner that is socially responsible.
Activity in the majority of sites will also be assured until Sept. 30, 2026, Thyssenkrupp said, although it will review three plants in 2020 to decide whether they will keep operating.
Thyssenkrupp will hold an interest in the future joint venture for at least six years, but said that it doesn't rule out an initial public offering in the period.
The collective agreement, which IG Metall's collective-bargaining committee recommends their members accept, will be put to a vote in January.
Thyssenkrupp also said that it aims to sign the merger agreement in early 2018 and expects to close the deal by the end of 2018, once it receives regulatory approval.
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