London, England — MININGREVIEW.COM — 26 January 2009 – Europe’s second-largest steel producer, Corus, is to cut 3 500 jobs at its British operations, the Sunday Times newspaper reports. Fin24 reports that the company refused to comment.
The details and precise number of lay-offs at the Anglo/Dutch steelmaker – owned by India’s Tata Steel – were being thrashed out over the weekend, according to the paper.
The newspaper said the move was part of a long-term restructuring plan drawn up by outgoing chief executive Philippe Varin, but it had been accelerated by the crisis in the global steel industry. The cuts – precipitated by falling demand in the construction and auto industries – would not lead to the closures of any of Corus’ British sites, it added.
The company employs 22 000 people in Britain, and produces around 20 million tonnes of steel a year.
In November, Corus announced that it would cut production of crude steel by 30% over the following six months as a response to falling demand.
Meanwhile fourth quarter steel production at Highveld Steel & Vanadium in South Africa has dropped 18% below the level of the previous year. Bloomberg News reports that hot metal output dropped from 188 317 tonnes in the prior year to 154 011 tonnes in 2008. Vanadium slag fell 2.4% to 3.32 million tonnes and coil declined by 41% to 27 969 tonnes.