Steelmaker Corus has announced it is to make around 2,000 employees redundant across the UK.
Eight hundred jobs will be lost at the engineering steel sites mainly at Rotherham and Stocksbridge. Another 370 jobs will be lost in Corus Tubes, which will be split between the UK and the Netherlands. Rolling and finishing plants in Teesside and Scotland will lose 375 staff. Finally, the company is opening consultations on 500 white-collar jobs throughout the Corus Long Products division, the majority at Scunthorpe. The total jobs at risk amounts to 2,045.
Corus chief executive Kirby Adams said: We understand the difficulties these job losses are likely to cause our employees and their families. Any recovery in Europe appears to be some time off, so it is vital that we take this proportionate and responsible action now. We have to achieve long-term, sustainable competitiveness in a global and over-supplied steel market and are determined to do so by focusing on the quality of the products and services we offer to our customers.
The firm will be offering as many voluntary redundancies as possible though it said the potential for compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. However, Corus hopes to retain those with critical skills. Redundancy packages and support services will be available to those leaving the company and there will be full consultations with employees and their representatives throughout the process.
A reduction in headcount has become necessary due to the recession and decline in steel demand in Europe and America.
The news comes after an ongoing legal case concerning the Teesside Cast Products plant and a devastating broken contract with consortium members. (see MRW story)
According to the financial year report for 2008/09, Tata Steel - Corus parent company - will inject £425 million into Tata Steel UK as part of an deal reached with the banks. The lenders also agreed to reset the covenants in its £3.7 billion senior debt facility.