Thousands of steel workers are to be balloted for strikes in protest at the mothballing of the Corus plant on Teesside, it was announced today.
The GMB union said several thousand of its members at the company will vote in the next few weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.
The union's executive decided to press ahead with the ballot as the mothballing started at the plant in Redcar with the loss of up to 1,600 jobs.
Keith Hazlewood, national officer of the GMB, accused Corus of going back on a promise to delay the mothballing of the plant.
"The decision to mothball the plant suggests that Corus did not really want to keep it open or sell it to another steel company.
"The decision is bad for Britain and for our manufacturing industry and our members will now be asked to respond."