Corus cuts confirmed

Posted on 26 Jan 2009 by The Manufacturer

Steel giant Corus has confirmed it is to make 2,500 UK workers redundant and will 'mothball' a Welsh factory.

A spokesperson for Corus, Europe’s second-largest steel producer and owned by the Indian firm Tata Steel, said: “This is about addressing the future of certain sites that cannot cope with the scale of the current crisis.”

Over five hundred of the redundancies are to be suffered at the firm’s hot strip mill in Llanwern, with another 250 to go from other sites in Wales. Other plants to lose staff include Port Talbot, Teesside, Scunthorpe and Rotherham.

Other measures Corus will take include production shut-downs, short-time working and the abandonment of final salary pension schemes for new staff. As well as the 2,500 here, another 1000 Dutch employees will leave.

The cost-saving benefits of today’s announced measures amount to £600 million over six months and the company says its profits will improve by £200 million annually.

Derek Simpson, joint leader of Unite called upon government to help retrain the workers who are to lose their jobs for other areas of industry while providing support to Corus to ensure today’s cuts form the extent of the cull.

“We cannot afford to let a short-term problem deprive Britain of the skills we will depend on to compete in the world economy,” he said.

He pointed out that Corus had made good profits before the recession and called on the company to look after its staff.
Corus said it will attempt to make up the cuts through voluntary redundancies. Of its 42,000 workers worldwide, 24,000 are based in the UK.