Top-level meetings on steel plant job losses

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MEETINGS are to take place next week over the future of workers at Tata Steel after the announcement 110 jobs are to be axed at the Corby plant.

The company revealed on Wednesday that jobs are being cut as part of a review of its Tubes business operations. As well as the Corby jobs, 100 workers are to be made redundant at Tata plants in the Netherlands.

The company said the job cuts are the result of tough competition and a downturn in the market. At Corby, tubes are made for the construction industry which has suffered in the downturn.

A 90-day consultation process has started and local officials with the union Community will be meeting management to discuss exactly where jobs are to go.

A spokesman for Tata said the losses would be across the board and not in any particular department at the plant.

A spokesman for Community said; “We will be meeting to discuss the proposals and challenging Tata to justify their proposals. Consultations will also be taking place on re-training opportunities.”

News of the cuts came just days after Eddie Stobart announced it is planning to shut its Corby depot.

But Corby MP Louise Mensch and Corby Council leader Tom Beattie have both pledged to continue to fight for investment in Corby. Mrs Mensch is to meet Cllr Beattie, deputy leader of Corby Council Mark Pengelly and trade unionists next week to discuss the terms of the 90-consultation period between Tata and its workers.

She said: “It is clearly very disappointing that jobs are going to be lost at Tata.

“I am meeting with Corby Council and Tata union representatives again next week, and we must now work closely with the company to discuss the best ways of mitigating against these redundancies.”

Last week Lord Kennedy of Southwark raised the future of steel-making in Corby in the House of Lords.

He was told that the Government had no plans for discussions with Tata about the Corby plant but that it was aware of the tough trading conditions the company faced.

Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Corby and East Northamptonshire, Andy Sawford, who tabled the question with Lord Kennedy, said: “The Government should be trying to protect jobs and vital industries but instead of this they are standing by and saying there is nothing they can do.”