1,600 jobs to go as Teesside Cast Products Plant is mothballed

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The Independent Online

A major steel plant which was handed a temporary reprieve will now close at the end of the week with the loss of 1,600 jobs.

The Teesside Cast Products Plant (TCP) run by Corus will finally be mothballed on Friday - three weeks after the Redcar site was initially planned to shut down.

Local Labour MP Vera Baird said the rising price of steel could give the town's major employer a future, and she hoped it could swiftly reopen if a buyer was found.

She said: "There are credible people interested in taking this plant on to give it the future it deserves and Corus have agreed to keep the blast furnace 'like a baby' so that it can come back to work again quickly.

"The steel slab price is going up and if this mothballing step has to be taken we need to keep our skilled people in place for the new day which may dawn soon.

"The Government has said throughout that if there is a future as a going concern, we will support TCP in the interim.

"We now have to get some real focus into how that can apply."

Workers were told yesterday that Friday would be the last day of steel production.

The plant was due to close Last month but Corus announced it would carry on working for some more weeks, while raw materials were used up.

Geoff Waterfield, chairman of the multi-union committee, told the Northern Echo newspaper: "The workforce will be gutted, although they are not surprised - it is something we have all been aware of.

"A lot of people have been working hard for a solution and the workforce had hoped we would get a solution."

Corus blamed the closure on an international consortium which pulled out of a contract to buy most of the plant's output for 10 years.