Monday, November 10, 2008

More on the Corus production cuts

UNION leaders have urged Corus not to make any “knee-jerk reactions” after the steel giant announced plans to slash steel production by up to 30% across Europe.

The firm said it would shut down one of its Port Talbot blast furnaces after a massive downturn in the demand for steel. Production at plants in Scunthorpe and in the Netherlands will also be cut back.

The news came days after Corus announced 400 job losses – including 150 in Wales – in its distribution business.

Now bosses at the Community union, which represents 3,000 workers in Port Talbot, are demanding reassurances that jobs will still exist by the end of this year.

General secretary Michael Leahy said: “We are hopeful that Corus will look to retain capacity to meet long-term demand rather than make a knee-jerk reaction to short-term trends.”

Meanwhile, the union’s regional director, Robert Edwards, said the most recent announcement was worrying in the run-up to the festive period.

He said: “Certainly this can’t have come at a worse time in the run-up to Christmas with people concerned about their finances and this means our members are walking a path of uncertainty.”

Former Port Talbot mayor and Corus blast furnace worker Anthony Taylor said the credit crunch was to blame for the temporary closure of the blast furnace.

“We know the industry is in troubled times. People are buying less cars, less washing machines and less fridges,” he said.

“We know there are tough times ahead, but we just have to carry on making high-quality steel at the right price.

Read the full story at Wales online

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