Steelmaker Corus is set to mothball its Teesside Cast Products site, threatening to end more than 150 years of iron and steelmaking on Teesside.
The Tata Steel’s European subsidiary has told its union that steel production at large parts of the Teesside plant will stop from Friday. The shutdown is expected to result in 1,700 jobs losses. The TCP plant can produce three million metric tons of steel a year, employing 2,300 people and accounts for approximately 15% of Corus’ European steelmaking capacity.
In a statement, India-based Tata, said: “It has not been possible to secure sufficient short-term sales of slab so as to enable TCP to operate at other than a cash loss. The timing of the mothballing is dependent on the consumption of the remaining iron ore stockpiles and is expected to take place later this week.”
Community Union General Secretary, Michael Leahy, said industrial action could not be ruled out following the announcement. “By putting profit before the people of Teesside, Tata Corus have undermined the foundation for future growth. We will continue to fight for a future for Teesside.
“Lots of questions remain unanswered, not least the length of time that the mothball will take place. In view of the manner in which this has been done, with Tata Corus riding roughshod over any consultation, it means we cannot rule out seeking our members’ support for industrial action.”
Earlier this week, Corus announced that it recorded a profit for the last three months of 2009. Tata Steel Europe reported pre-tax profits of more than £94m, also recording a 1% rise in liquid steel production to 4,209 tonnes.