French employees union has severely criticised the Francois Hollande government's plans to take over ArcelorMittal's Florange steelworks as a retrograde step that would sully France's stature as an investor-friendly state.
Laurence Parisot, the head of the influential Medef employers' union, said the government's move, first unveiled by the industrial renewal minister Arnaud Montebourg, was ''simply scandalous.''
Nationalising the steelworks went against the principle of private property, Parisot said after Montebourg said the government was ready for a temporary takeover.
"This declaration is purely and simply scandalous," Parisot told RTL radio. "To undermine the principle of private property in this haphazard way is very serious and, what's more, very costly."
France's Socialist government has been in talks with ArcelorMittal over the fate of two blast furnaces amidst a flood of layoffs and declining industrial activity in France.
ArcelorMittal had planned to shut down the idling blast furnaces at its Florange plant, in northern France, unless it found a buyer by Saturday.