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BBC Wales's Robert Thomas
"Shotton's cold strip mill actually stopped rolling last Friday "
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Robert Thomas
"The Flintshire steel taskforce meets later on Friday"
 real 56k

BBC Wales's Caroline Evans
"This week a jobs fair was held at the plant"
 real 56k

Friday, 29 June, 2001, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Final shift for steel workers
Shotton steelworks on Deeside
Four hundred workers at Shotton are losing their jobs
The cold strip mill at Shotton in Deeside finally closes on Friday with the loss of more than 400 jobs.

It follows the closure of Corus's factory at Bryngwyn near Swansea - and the end of steel production at the giant Llanwern steelworks near Newport.

Deputy First Minister Mike German.
Mike German AM: 5m package for workers
Shotton's cold strip mill actually stopped rolling last Friday and workers have spent this week making the site secure.

It is the latest in a series of closures announced by the steel group Corus in February, under which a total of 3,000 Welsh jobs are being lost.

Alex Aldridge, the leader of Flintshire County Council and an engineer at Shotton, said it was an "immensely sad day".

"Corus must now produce a clear business plan to the government for Shotton for the continued survival of the plant," said Mr Aldridge.

Some workers at Shotton are being paid bonuses to stay on until production is completed but most will have left by Friday afternoon - leaving a workforce of just 500.

Unlike workers at Bryngwyn, who marched out of their plant accompanied by a lone drummer at the end of their last shift last month, staff at Shotton plan no formal occasion to mark the closure.

The Flintshire steel task force is meeting later on Friday and debt counselling will also be available for redundant workers.

Meanwhile, 1300 workers at Llanwern near Newport earlier this week produced their last steel are expected to finally finish work at the end of next month.

European funding

This week's closures coincide with an announcement on Thursday that steel workers made redundant from Corus plants in Wales are to benefit from 5m in grants to help them find new jobs.

The joint funding, which comes from Europe, the Welsh Assembly and Corus, will be used to provide training packages and advice.

Deputy First Minister Mike German said: "As part of the Assembly's package to help the areas hit by Corus redundancies, we have been working with the Corus unions to bid for European funding support.

It will be offer substantial help for Corus workers to get new jobs quickly by accessing advice, guidance, counselling and appropriate training packages

Deputy First Minister Mike German
The project will benefit more than 3,000 steelworkers who are facing redundancy at Corus plants at Bryngwyn, Ebbw Vale, Port Talbot, Llanwern and Shotton.

Mr German said:"It will offer substantial help for Corus workers to get new jobs quickly by accessing advice, guidance, counselling and appropriate training packages."

Meanwhile, at a conference in Cardiff on Friday the ISTC steel union will call for Britain to enter the European single currency.

The union believes the jobs of British steel workers may have been saved if Britain had been in the Euro zone.

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See also:

27 Jun 01 | Wales
Steel shutdown draws near
08 Feb 01 | Wales
Blair's pledge over steel towns
02 Feb 01 | UK Politics
Blair urges Corus rethink
04 Feb 01 | Business
Corus 'bans future UK investment'
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