Indian-owned steelmaker Corus to axe 3,500 jobs
Indian-owned steel group Corus said Monday that it would cut 3,500 jobs worldwide, including 2,500 in Britain, following a strategic review sparked by the global economic downturn.
Corus said the review, which is aimed at saving 200 million pounds (213 million euros, 276 million dollars) a year, will "put around 3,500 jobs at risk." The group employs 42,000 people worldwide.
"The structural changes we are proposing today have been carefully considered. They are essential for the future of the business," said Corus chief executive Philippe Varin.
"The company will keep its focus on priority areas such as training, research and product development, which, together with today's initiative, will ensure Corus is in the best possible shape to compete strongly in the future."
Trade unions were told the news in briefings with Corus management shortly before the announcement.
"This is a body blow for UK manufacturing," said John Wilson of the GMB union.
Steel prices have fallen sharply in recent months and world output fell by nearly a quarter in December as the global economic crisis hits demand.
The construction, auto, shipbuilding and heavy engineering industries are major steel consumers but they have been ravaged by the worst global economic slump in decades.