Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Up to 70 Steel Jobs Are Facing the Axe

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Up to 70 Steel Jobs Are Facing the Axe

Article excerpt

Byline: IAN MCNEAL @EveningGazette

BRITISH Steel is to cut up to 70 jobs locally under cost saving plans.

The company yesterday unveiled the proposals for its special profiles business, covering Skinningrove in East Cleveland, and Darlington.

British Steel made the job cut announcement as it outlined a plan to "strengthen the competitive position of the business through growing sales, further investment and reducing costs".

The special profiles business employs 331 people, including 24 at Darlington.

Around PS1.8m will be spent this summer, as previously announced, on raising manufacturing capabilities at its Skinningrove plant which, along with Darlington, makes components for earth-moving equipment.

Further investment is planned to modernise the plant by introducing automation to the production process.

Peter Gate, British Steel managing director special profiles, said: "We're striving to become a global leader in special profiles but to do this - and deliver the high standards customers quite rightly expect - we need to be more flexible and more efficient.

"In recent years, prior to the launch of British Steel, the special profiles business hadn't been profitable. It's encouraging that we're now making a profit but we must become even more competitive if we are to grow and win more orders."

British Steel said alongside increasing sales and investing in the plant, the business must also reduce its costs.

Mr Gate said: "We will be working closely with our unions to determine how we reduce our overheads, including employment costs.

"The proposed plan seeks to reduce the number of positions in the special profiles business by up to 70 over the next two years and I understand this news will be upsetting for those people affected. "We will give them all the support needed and will work with our other sites in the North-east region to minimise the impact.

"We've already identified up to 20 opportunities at our Teesside Beam Mill plant in Lackenby and we hope some employees will consider transferring to those roles. …

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