Tata Corus halts a few operations; 1,700 to lose jobs


“TCP’s Redcar Blast Furnace, Lackenby steel-making and the South Bank Coke Ovens will be mothballed at the end of January 2010,” it said.
However, it said that the Anglo-Dutch steel maker “intends to keep open a number of operations, including the Redcar Wharf, Redcar Coke Ovens and some of the power generating capacity.”

In May, a consortium of international buyers broke the 10-year offtake agreement with TCP which forced Corus to consider mothballing its mills.
“An international consortium’s breaking of a binding contract has led Corus to partially implement the proposal announced in May 2009 of mothballing some of the facilities belonging to the Teesside Cast Products (TCP) business in northeast England,” it said.
“The partial mothballing will result in the loss of about 1,700 jobs, around 600 fewer than envisaged earlier this year,” it added.To keep operations at TCP alive, Corus has been channelising internal orders to the TCP which was also getting some demand from outside.

“This has cost the company about 130 million pound. Operating 3 million tonnes per year merchant slab plant is not sustainable without a long-term strategic partner,” Corus added.

Call for reversing decision
Reacting to the development, the labour body Community Union said the shock decision is premature and devastating that will have disastrous consequences for Teesside and the UK economy. “There is still time to save TCP as a going concern and Tata Corus have a moral and social obligation to Teesside steel workers who have moved heaven and earth to rescue TCP and save their jobs,” Community Union General Secretary Michael J Leahy OBE said.
Calling on Tata Corus to reverse the decision the Union said, “We are seeking urgent talks with the Government to discuss what assistance they can provide to preserve the steel making infrastructure of Teesside and prevent a community being devastated.”

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