Talks to safeguard Tata plant’s future

Corby,  Tata Steel, redundancies at Tata Steel announced. 'Corby Steel Works'Wednesday 25th January, 2012
Corby, Tata Steel, redundancies at Tata Steel announced. 'Corby Steel Works'Wednesday 25th January, 2012

Talks are to take place between Tata Steel, civic leaders and trade unionists over the long-term future of the Corby plant.

Yesterday the company announced it is to axe 110 jobs as part of a review of its European tubes business.

A spokesman for the company confirmed the Corby plant, which employs about 700 workers, is running at a loss but was unable to give an exact figure.

Tata blamed the cuts on a prolonged downturn in all European markets for tubes, combined with intense competition.

A total of 90 jobs are also being cut at three Tata plants in the Netherlands.

Remco Blaauw, managing director of the company’s European tube business, said: “Our priority is to minimise the impact on our employees, and to assist affected colleagues through a difficult process.

“Our goal is to secure a sustainable tubes business which will not only weather the current economic storm, but can prosper in the future.”

The union Community blames the job losses on the depressed state of the UK economy and a lack of policy for manufacturing as a contributory factor.

Its general secretary Michael Leahy said: “This is a massive blow for the workforce in Corby who have done everything expected of them to keep the site viable.

“We are arranging an urgent meeting with Tata Steel Tubes to demand assurances there will be no compulsory redundancies and to explore all other options available.

“We also want a clear commitment from Tata Steel to the long-term security of the site at Corby.”

And Corby Council leader Tom Beattie said he would be contacting the company to discuss safeguarding the long-term future of the plant.

The town’s MP Louise Mensch, who met Tata management in London yesterday, said she was told the future was dependent on cutting the costs of processing, broadening the customer base and making redundancies.

She said: “It is obviously incredibly bad news, but the company has confirmed that if they can do these three things they will be able to weather the storm.”

Tata staff member Ray Rodden, 59, said: “We knew it was coming.

“There comes a stage where you can’t keep pouring money in. Most of us understand that. You can’t blame the company.”