Page last updated at 14:36 GMT, Saturday, 16 May 2009 15:36 UK

Steelworkers march for jobs help

Corus workers at the march
The Teesside employees joined other workers at the march

Dozens of workers from a threatened Teesside steel plant joined a march calling on the government to make protecting jobs a top priority.

The Birmingham demonstration, organised by the union Unite, was part of a campaign to press ministers to do more to help manufacturers in the recession.

Corus has said it may have to mothball Teesside Cast Products (TCP) in Redcar.

It came after the early end to a contract by an international consortium of steel slab buyers.

The agreement, signed in 2004, committed the consortium of Marcegaglia SpA, Dongkuk Steel Mills Co Ltd, Duferco Participations Holding Ltd and Alvory SA, to buy just under 78% of the plant's production for 10 years.

The end of the contract threatens the jobs of nearly 2,000 workers at the Redcar plant.

Keep up pressure

On Friday, union leaders held a meeting with Corus management to discuss the possibility of getting the deal back on track.

The Teesside employees joined workers from other firms hit by the recession, at Saturday's march.

Unite wants the government to agree to measures ranging from short-time working subsidies to keep people in work to more state aid for firms.

Russ Morgan, who has worked at Corus for 30 years, was one of those on the march.

He said: "At first I was resigned to it but then I thought no, I am going to fight this and that's why I am here."

Teesside Cast Products multi-union chairman Geoff Waterfield said: "We feel that if we can get plenty of publicity we can keep the pressure on the company and on the government and not get forgotten about."

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