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Union action likely after Corus plant closure

The GMB union has today confirmed it will ballot thousands of steelworkers in the UK after the announcement that Corus will close its Teeside plant. It is highly likely that steelworkers in the UK will be more than unhappy about the closure of the Teeside plant and the loss of potentially 1,600 jobs. While the government is currently in talks with the Corus management regarding a possible sale of the plant this would appear to be highly unlikely especially in the current economic climate.

Union action has become more prominent over the last few months as the recession continues to impact upon the profitability of UK businesses pushing many to reduce their cost basis. It is highly likely we will see further union and business conflict in the short to medium term with UK unemployment unlikely to fall over this period. It will be interesting to see whether the UK government can in some way reduce the impact of the mothballing of the Teeside plant, especially in light of the impending general election.

Industrial action is the last thing that Corus would want at this point in the economic cycle with the steel industry struggling as the worldwide recovery becomes more and more sluggish.

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