Page last updated at 16:36 GMT, Thursday, 6 November 2008

Steel giant plans to cut 400 jobs

Corus sign
Corus Distribution blames a 'significant decline' in business since September

Corus has announced plans to cut 400 jobs from its distribution business.

The proposed job losses include 95 at the steel giant's plant at Shotton, Deeside and 50 in south Wales.

Another 100 jobs will go at eight sites in the West Midlands and 50 in two locations in Leeds.

The company blamed the move on the global economic downturn and said the business had been operating in a "volatile and fluctuating" market since the start of the year.

The company said it had suffered a "significant decline" since September and was looking to cut spending on transport, consumables, energy and other discretionary spending.

"However, these actions alone will not be sufficient to offset the decline in the market," added a spokesman.

'Knee jerk reactions'

Corus said it would start an immediate consultation with workers and try to achieve the job losses through voluntary redundancy.

The distribution side of the business employs 2,400 workers at 36 sites in the UK and Ireland.

The proposed reductions will be spread throughout the business.

In south Wales, 35 jobs will go at its Cross Keys colour steels operation, and some others at other locations in the region.

At Shotton in Flintshire, 95 jobs will disappear with the loss of a shift at the Corus living solutions business, which makes modular buildings. Another 260 jobs will remain at the plant.

Cllr Mel Higham, executive member for regeneration at Flintshire Council, said he was "shocked".

He said: "The loss of jobs is bad news at any time, but so close to Christmas, it is particularly heartbreaking for all those affected."

Roy Rickhuss, national officer at the steelworkers' union Community, said it was "disappointed and saddened" by the "widespread redundancies".

He added: "Community will do everything in its power, through the consultation period, to work with the company to save jobs where they can be saved and to help those affected through this difficult time.

"We welcomed the original Corus approach to the current downturn - to avoid knee-jerk reactions and not just cut jobs - so we are disappointed this has not been followed in Corus Distribution."

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