1,300 steel jobs set to go

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The country's biggest steel producer was expected to announce a fresh wave of job losses today as it continued to be hit by the strength of the pound.

The country's biggest steel producer was expected to announce a fresh wave of job losses today as it continued to be hit by the strength of the pound.

Corus is set to axe around 1,300 jobs, mainly from plants in South Wales including Llanwern and Port Talbot.

Other Welsh factories at Ebbw Vale in the south and Shotton in the north could also face redundancies.

Corus, formed by last year's merger between British Steel and Dutch firm Hoogovens, has announced more than 2,500 job cuts in the past month, partly blaming the strength of sterling.

Around 1,200 redundancies were announced last Friday at Scunthorpe and Middlesbrough following similar cutbacks in South Yorkshire last month.

Union officials have been seeking information on redundancies since news of the expected cutback leaked out on Monday evening.

The Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union said workers' morale at the factories in Wales had been hit by the speculation.

"The speculation is almost unbearable for many of our members," said general secretary Sir Ken Jackson. "It has been a very difficult week and workers are very angry that they have been kept in the dark."

Llanwern produces flat steel products for the car industry and for goods including washing machines.

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