Fears for jobs at town steel plant

Tata Steel in Corby
Tata Steel in Corby

Talks are being held to discuss fears of job losses at the Tata Steel plant in Corby.

The town’s council leader and MP have contacted the company for talks amid increasing talk of job losses.

The Evening Telegraph reported last week that staff at the site in Weldon Road were left fearing for their jobs after a regular briefing on the company’s performance.

The company has said no redundancies are imminent, but admits difficult decisions may have to be taken in the future. Council leader Tom Beattie and town MP Louise Mensch are have both opened dialogue with the Indian firm about its plans.

Asked if he was aware of jobs being under threat, Cllr Beattie said: “That is what we understand, but we haven’t been told anything officially. We stand ready to have discussions with Tata to try to avert job losses.

“We will be contacting Tata locally and if possible avoid compulsory redundancies.”

Mrs Mensch said she would be looking to “take the pulse of the company” at a meeting with Tata’s bosses in London next week.

She said: “I have had discussions with Tata today (Tuesday) and they have assured me that if they were going to cut jobs in Corby they would speak to us first.

“Clearly there was something said at the meeting that worried staff. I will be asking them to clarify their business position and talk to them about responsible capitalism.

“At the moment we are informed that it is nothing more than a rumour, but I want to give constituents any reassurance I can.”

Prospective parliamentary candidate Andy Sawford has spoken to his party leader Ed Miliband and shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna about the importance of keeping steel production in Corby.

He said: “Obviously there is concern about potential job losses at the site. I have spoken to the workforce representatives to discuss what can be done.

“We need to make sure there are as few redundancies as possible, if there are to be any.

“Local people will want to hear Tata’s commitment to steel making in Corby. Steel closure is something hundreds of people have heard in their lifetime in Corby.

“It is not just in Corby’s long-term economic interests that we have steel making here, but the country’s as well.”

A Tata Steel spokesman said there had been no change in the situation since Friday.

The rumours about cuts at Tata come in the wake of haulage giant Eddie Stobart announcing the closure of its Corby depot, putting 150 jobs at risk.

Andrea Przystupa, regional officer for Eddie Stobart union Unite, said: “Our first objective is to secure our members’ jobs through re-location to other Eddie Stobart sites across the Northamptonshire area.”