Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Unions in Backlash

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Unions in Backlash

Article excerpt

UNIONS have hit out at Corus' decision to mothball the Teesside Cast Products site in the new year.

Geoff Waterfield, chairman of the Multi-Union Works Committee on Teesside, said the workforce was "devastated" by today's news, accusing the company of "short-term, reactionary decision making".

"Everyone is on the floor," he said.

"We are back to where we were in May, but there is more finality about today's announcement."

Redcar and Cleveland Council leader, George Dunning, who is a former steel worker of 30 years, said: "As a former steel worker at Teesside Cast Products in the 70s and 80s, it is heartbreaking to hear such devastating news.

"Our first thoughts go out to the steelworkers and their families. To lose your job is bad enough news, but just before Christmas is a terrible shock.

"Secondly, Redcar and Cleveland Council will be urging Government to put into action swift measures to mitigate these massive job losses.

"The reality is there are no jobs on Teesside to soften the blow of losing several thousand steel jobs. This, alongside the chemical jobs recently lost, compounds an economic nightmare not just for Redcar and Cleveland but the whole of Teesside."

Redcar Blast Furnace and BOSS Plants to be mothballed.

Redcar MP Vera Baird today said the news was a "gut-wrenching disappointment" after months of hard work to secure the site's future.

"My heart is with those people getting this abysmal news three weeks before Christmas," she added. "I'm furious that, after our workers won months of export orders, Corus has not been able either to get a longer term contract or to clinch a deal for the sale of the plant.

"Earlier this week when closure came on the agenda I offered to ask the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills for a 'Pro-act' scheme like that in Wales. …

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