Steel maker Corus has announced it will begin mothballing its Teesside Cast Products site today, which Unite union claims could result in up to 10,000 job losses in the Redcar area - a region already badly affected by job cuts.
Terry Pye, Unite union's national officer for the steel industry, called the mothballing "a disgraceful charade." The plant has been up for sale since May 2009, but Mr. Pye claims Corus "never had any intention of selling it."
"Corus is trying to give the impression that it wants to mothball the Teesside site with a view to sell it once they have interested buyers," he said. "However, we think this is a smokescreen. We are aware that serious offers have been made to Corus that would allow production to remain at the plant, but the management has dismissed them all out of hand.
"We will be meeting other trade unions next week to discuss what action to take and will be calling on our members at the other Corus sites to take strategic action to force the company to take heed of the offers it is receiving to save the plant and the thousands of skilled jobs in an area already decimated by job losses."
Unite predicts closure of the site will have a devastating affect on the local Redcar community, which has a rich 150 year heritage of iron and steelmaking.
Before Christmas, the Government announced £60 million of investment in Teeside, hoping to generate "an estimated 3,000 new jobs in the short to medium term and sustain over 10,000 jobs long term." Only time will tell whether this investment pays off...
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