Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tata Corus deal, what the papers and blogger's are saying on Jobs

There is a mass of opinion being expressed on yesterdays deal, from the media. Their views differing on the financial, strategic and jobs implication. Rather than try to summarise the variety of views which would run to a novel in length, I have picked a few  that reflect different angles. Make of them what you will.

Steelworkers wait to hear from new boss

The Telegraph Northampton, regarding future job prospects.

MP confident over steelmaking future

IC South Wales Well he is a politician

Calls for Steel jobs pledge

This is Scunthorpe Concern from the North East.

Corus chief rules out job cuts in UK

NDTV Sounds good

Jobs worry after Corus takeover

BBC Not so promising

Corus steelworkers wave ta-ta to job security

Guardian Blog Catchy headline and an intelligent assessment.

Don't forget Corus is a Dutch company too

DutchN News.NL  Dutch reaction to the takeover of Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus by India’s Tata Steel was cautiously optimistic today.

And from India

IndiaDaily Another viewpoint


In my opinion (for what it's worth), it is unlikely that there will be any immediate job losses as Tata (and CSN) had given certain assurances. It would be naive however to believe that the lower cost steelmaking facilities in India are not going to impact upon UK steel production. Whilst Tata may have little immediate spare capacity, if the market downturns or new capacity comes online in India, it will inevitably make economic sense to export semi finished products to the UK. Whilst this will still require a processing and distribution network it will not bear well for the major steelmaking plants, particularly in Wales.

It's also pertinent to consider the high price that Tata paid for Corus. It will put pressure on shares and cashflow, this needs to be addressed and access to the European market will offer an avenue to redress this situation even in the shorter term.

There is also a fair amount of duplication within the Corus distribution network, and it is likely that Tata will address this issue in the near future.

Will we still be making steel on a large scale in the UK in five years time ? I would not bet on it, but I hope that I am wrong.


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