Liberty Steel UK is today launching a consultation to restructure the Stocksbridge works and its downstream operations. As part of this Liberty has announced 162 potential job reductions at Stocksbridge and 45 at the Performance Steels business in West Bromwich. At the same time Liberty has announced investment to increase production at the Rotherham works, with a potential increase of 161 jobs and opportunities to transfer from other sites.
Responding to the announcement:
Alun Davies, National Officer for Community, said:
“The last year has been extremely difficult and we recognise change is required to secure the future of the businesses. For too long our members have been working under a cloud of uncertainty, and today’s announcement provides some much-needed clarity on the company’s intentions.
Restructuring is always challenging, but the trade unions will engage constructively in the consultation process to safeguard the interests of the workforce. Under no circumstances will the unions accept any hard redundancies; every worker who wants a job must have one.
The company’s plans to restructure the special alloys business were reviewed by the unions’ independent experts, who found them to be credible. However, if Liberty is to move forward with a sale of the business, the steel supply chain must be guaranteed and the unions fully consulted on all aspects of the process.”
Harish Patel, National Officer for Unite, said:
“This has been an exceptionally stressful period for our members and their families, who expect Liberty to deliver on promises to refinance the businesses and protect jobs. Our members have done an incredible job to keep the businesses going and the company must repay their loyalty.
The Government must also play their part by stepping up to support Liberty, and all British steelmakers, by acting to bring our unaffordable energy prices into line with EU competitors. Liberty Steel is a strategically important business and has a crucial role to play producing green steels for a low-carbon economy.”