Corus Take Additional Steps to Remain Competitive

Corus today announces additional measures that build on the restructuring programme the company announced in January 2009.

These measures involve opening consultations on a series of further job reductions, which have become necessary because of the worldwide economic downturn and, in particular, the decline in steel demand in Europe and America.

Corus has already made significant cost savings with the support of its employee and union representatives since the downturn began, but several sites have suffered further deterioration in demand for their products. This additional restructuring will enable the business to align its production and manning levels with anticipated demand.

The consultation process identifies 2,045 jobs as being at risk. Some 1,500 of these are in the company's production facilities: about 800 at the engineering steels sites, mainly Rotherham and Stocksbridge; about 370 in Corus Tubes in the UK and the Netherlands, and about 375 at downstream rolling and finishing plants in Teesside and Scotland. The company is also opening consultations on 500 white-collar jobs throughout the Corus Long Products division, the majority at Scunthorpe.

Corus CEO Kirby Adams said: "We understand the difficulties these job losses are likely to cause our employees and their families. Any recovery in Europe appears to be some time off, so it is vital that we take this proportionate and responsible action now. We have to achieve long-term, sustainable competitiveness in a global and over-supplied steel market and are determined to do so by focusing on the quality of the products and services we offer our customers."

The company will make every effort to ensure as many of the job losses as possible are voluntary, though the potential for compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. The company will at the same time seek to retain critical skills. Redundancy packages and outplacement support services will be available to those leaving the company. There will be full consultations with employees and their representatives throughout the process.

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