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ArcelorMittal Employees Protest Layoffs

About 1,000 steel workers from across Europe are demonstrating through the Belgian capital to demand more labor protection in times of economic recession.

BRUSSELS (AP) -- About 1,000 ArcelorMittal steel workers from across Europe demonstrated Tuesday in the Belgian capital against job cutbacks.

The workers insist that ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel company, should not offer dividends to shareholders while planning to lay off thousands of employees.

ArcelorMittal said in December that steel demand is falling sharply and it is looking to cut 9,000 jobs to reduce costs by $1 billion. It has already shuttered plants in France, Germany and Belgium during the winter months.

ArcelorMittal said Tuesday that the cutbacks were in the long-term interest of the company and its employees. It reports fourth-quarter results on Wednesday that will likely show a drop in profits. The company employs 320,000 people worldwide.

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