Page last updated at 10:40 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 11:40 UK

Reprieve for steel plant workers

Corus steeelworks in Redcar
The Redcar plant was due to be mothballed

Workers at a threatened steel plant on Teesside have been given a reprieve after the company said its order book was full until the end of December.

Up to 2,000 jobs are at risk at Teesside Cast Products (TCP) - owned by Corus - in Redcar after a consortium pulled out of a deal to buy its steel.

A consultation period at the plant, due to end in August, was extended when new orders were placed for September.

And on Friday it was announced that further orders had been secured.

John Bolton, TCP managing director, described the news as a significant step forward.

'Strong faith'

He said: "Despite what is still a very difficult market position we have secured orders that buy us more time to explore possible long-term opportunities.

"We know that we need to perform not only to win orders in the short term, but also to position ourselves as a successful business for the future."

Geoff Waterfield, multi-union chairman of the Teesside works, said: "The Teesside site is a very viable one and the workforce has proven that even in these terrible times they can continue to produce high quality steel.

"So just think what we can do with the backing of the government and with a good employer behind us."

Local MP, Vera Baird, said: "It must be agony for workers who have had to go from month to month. At least here is a bit of reassurance for Christmas.

"I think all the workers would agree that an even stronger point is that this shows the current steel customers are developing a strong faith in Redcar's product and looking for a longer term relationship."

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