Steelmaker Corus to cut 2000 jobs in the UK and Netherlands

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Corus, the fifth largest steelmaker in the world, is set to cut 2000 jobs in both the United Kingdom and The Netherlands. 123 jobs are reported to be going in the Netherlands with the remainder from the United Kingdom. Corus have blamed the move on the "further deterioration" of the demand for steel in both the United States and Europe.

Corus Chief Executive Kirby Adams stated, "Any recovery in Europe appears to be some time off". He added that Corus have to achieve "long-term sustainable competitiveness in a global and over-supplied steel market". In January of this year Corus cut approximately 3,500 staff worldwide; 2,500 of them in Britain.

Peter Hogg, a commercial director at Corus, reported that the company was surprised at the extent of the global recession. He added that it is clear a full recovery is years away.

Some plants have been hit harder than others. Scunthorpe will lose 500 members of staff, with 379 going at Stocksbridge and 377 at Rotherham. Corus will also reduce operations at Hartlepool, Skinningrove and their Teesside Beam Mill, in Cleveland, where an additional 2,000 already face redundancy. A total of 11 plants in the United Kingdom are affected.

Elliot Morley, Labour Member of Parliament for Scunthorpe, told the BBC that he was disappointed with the job cuts and said he had previously told Corus that they should be a last resort. He added that this was a "sad day" for Scunthorpe.

The Community union general secretary Michael Leahy said that it was "devastating news" and spoke of his concerns for the integrity of the British steel industry.

Corus has the second largest steelmaking operation in Europe. The company was bought in 1999 by Tata Steel, part of India's Tata Group. The company has around 50,000 employees worldwide.