Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Corus steel plant mothballing: Your comments

Corus's plant at Redcar

Thousands of steel workers are to be balloted for strike action in protest at the partial mothballing of Redcar's Corus plant.

Work is beginning to shut down the blast furnace at Teesside Cast Products (TCP), where 1,600 jobs will be lost.

BBC News website readers have been emailing in with their reaction to the news. You can read a selection of comments below.


People gathered outside the Corus steelworks in Redcar
"Steel making on Teesside is finished"

I have worked at Corus Redcar works since 1979. Steel making on Teesside is finished. Corus will not sell this plant, the parts that remain operational are being kept to aid the other Corus plants in the UK. Why should the government bail out an Indian company that in my opinion has no long term plan for steelmaking in the UK. Jon Bolton (managing director of TCP) deserves a medal as big as a frying pan for his efforts to secure a future for TCP.
Les Parker, Guisborough

I've worked at Corus Redcar for 22 years. What has happened is devastating to all us workers who have done what has been asked of us to keep the plant going. We feel that Mandelson, Gordon Brown, local MPs and the union have let the workforce down badly. We are proud steel workers who only want to earn a living and produce world class steel.
Duncan Anderson, Middlesbrough

There has been no information on when we will receive notices

As a Corus employee at Teesside, I'm still astonished that although mothballing effectively starts today, there is still no information on who will be kept to actually do it. There has been no communication on when we will receive notices, how many cross-match jobs will be available on site and how and what skills will be retained. This is life changing for everyone involved, and this lack of information shows how much Corus actually cares about its employees.

My boyfriend has worked there for three and a half years. As two of those were part of his apprenticeship he won't get any redundancy money. What are we meant to do? I even had to leave work an hour early today because I was crying and felt ill at the thought of 1,600 jobs going. No one cares about the North East and the way we have been treated is disgusting.
Sam, Thornaby-on-Tees

Redcar Corus steel plant

My dad has worked at the plant for around 30 years. His job will go in three weeks when the last bit of steel has been moved from the site. This effects me because I am a student at university and will have to stop studying due to lack of funding. I'll no doubt be joining the back of the job centre queue back in Middlesbrough.
Roger Wood, Derby

The plants will never be able to compete with China and India

I had the unfortunate experience of working at a Corus Plant for two years and visited both Port Talbot and Teeside in my role. The plants are dinosaurs as are most of the staff. The plants will never be able to compete with China and India and anyone who didn't realise that has had their head in the clouds. Corus is without doubt the least efficient organisation I have ever worked for apart from some secondary manufacturing plants.
Paul Smith, Birmingham

I work for Corus in Scunthorpe. I feel awful for the workers at Redcar. Corus were unable to do anything as the consortium pulled out. Government assistance should have been provided sooner. I hope this is not the end for steel manufacturing.
Shane O'Sullivan, Scunthorpe


Steelworkers and their families gather outside the Corus steelworks in Redcar
"It is just another blow for the North East"

This is a criminal to let this happen and more importantly allowing the carbon licence to leave Teesside. Why should Tata be allowed to take this licence which has been earned through hard work over generations. This carbon licence belongs to the people of Teesside and should remain on Teesside to attract new investment.
Richard Horner, Middlesbrough

It is just another blow for the North East of England, an area which every government and local government keeps letting down. There is nothing to attract business to the North East, especially Teesside. We need transport infrastructure, public sector, more services, tax breaks and more democratic autonomy.
Ben Rattigan, Hartlepool, Teesside

Close the place now stop prolonging the agony. Closure has been on the cards for years. The politicians won't change a thing, they just lie in the hope of getting votes.
Anon, Redcar


Corus plant at Redcar
"A mothballed plant would be expensive to recommission"

I worked at the Teesside works in the 1980s. In my experience a mothballed plant would be horrendously expensive and time consuming to bring back on line. In addition specialist staff with experience will be lost and there would not be people to recommission the plant.
Steve Knowles, Maidstone

My company is the only specialist drilling firm capable of drilling the 'salamander tap' mentioned. I have a team of engineers working to complete the works this weekend in the hope the furnace may be turned back on at a later date. I have been a specialist drilling company for Corus for over 20 years and this is one job I wish we were not doing. It is a disaster for the UK economy to lose our heavy engineering base.
Martyn Wiseman, Hull

I worked at the Ebbw Vale plant for 25 years before it closed. Ebbw Vale is suffering with unemployment, it's like a ghost town now. The steel industry is on its last legs in the UK and the government has not helped. In my opinion the plant is only being mothballed because Corus doesn't what to pay to regenerate the land. They will keep it until the government ends up paying for the land to be redeveloped out of the tax payers money.
Ant Phillips, Ebbw Vale

Why should Corus keep an uncompetitive plant open?

When will unions face the facts? Corus is a private sector company which has lost its customers because the UK consumer wants cheap manufactured goods which cannot be produced paying UK wages. Why should Corus keep a plant open when it cannot sell the product at competitive prices?
John, Canterbury

Teeside will get exactly the same help as Workington did - nothing! The government allows foreign firms to buy our factories, run them for a while and then shut them, to either move to countries with cheaper labour or back home for their own country's workforce. When will this government protect our industries?
Wayne, Workington

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