Friday, July 10, 2009

More Corus job cuts

Following on from the announcement of 2000 job losses at UK plants including Teesside, Scunthorpe and Rotherham, last month, Corus announce further job losses.

One hundred and forty nine jobs at two Corus sites in south Wales are under threat following a functional review.

The steel giant said the cutbacks will be split across the sites in Port Talbot and Llanwern near Newport.

The positions affected are business roles that support manufacturing in the strip products division, such as human resources, finance and laboratories.

A consultation period is to begin on Monday, but unions said the cuts will be "devastating".

A Corus spokesman said they will be talking to unions.

He said it may be that the job loss figure is reduced.

The functional review was announced at the start of the year at the same time as 528 redundancies at the Llanwern site, due to the mothballing of the hot mill.

The spokesman added that the reduced manufacturing capacity means that roles connected will have to be scaled down appropriately.

Full story BBC News

Once a major player in European and World steel making, Corus is shrinking to a shadow of it’s former self. Whilst the recession and falling demand in the automotive and construction markets has hit the steel industry hard, it’s significant that almost all of the Indian owned Tata groups cuts have been made in Europe, and particularly the UK.

We had doubts about Tata’s plans for the Corus group when they were acquired. I always felt that they were more interested in access to the European market than developing the manufacturing business in the UK and Netherlands. What has surprised me is how rapid the contraction of their manufacturing has been.

Whilst I can understand the call by steel workers for government financial help to save jobs and manufacturing, I do not believe that any assistance to  the Indian owned steelmaker will do anything long term to save jobs, I fear that the “die is cast” for UK steelmaking.

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