Testing the metal

Posted on 12 Dec 2008 by The Manufacturer

Trade unions representing 25,000 British employees of steel-giant Corus have said they have rejected a proposal to cut wages by 10 per cent.

The company is looking for ways to cut its cost amid falling demand for steel and reportedly wants to reduce its European output 30 per cent by March.

Community, Unite and GMB are the unions representing the workers. In a joint statement they said: “The company’s proposals for a 10% pay cut were one of a range of options which so far have been rejected by the unions.”

A joint statement from Corus and the trade unions released yesterday read:

“Corus Management and the National Officers of the UK Steel Committee have had a series of discussions regarding the business situation and potential actions to help weather the storm, including a range of temporary options aimed at reducing employment costs and assisting the company through these difficult times.

“Clearly this is an extremely challenging agenda for both parties.

“A number of proposals have been discussed in depth and both parties remain committed to continuing this dialogue. At this stage, however, no recommendations have been finalised which would justify management joining the UK lay officials at the planned meeting on the 11th of December.

The parties reaffirm their commitment to this process and will meet again in the near future with a view to concluding agreement.”

One of the plants fearing the chop is Corus’ facility in Llanwern, South Wales, which employs 1000 staff.