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Threat to steel jobs from Corus investment.

Steel giant Corus today said it planned to invest pounds 130m in a restructuring that will put more than 400 jobs at risk.

The plans involve enhancing one of its biggest steelmaking plants at Scunthorpe, where it will make structural sections, rail and wire rods.

But Corus said the changes involved a net reduction of 161 jobs in Scunthorpe while work will be transferred from Workington in Cumbria, where the company currently employs 256 people in rail manufacturing.

Corus said it would look for alternative uses for the Workington rail site, which is likely to end production next year.

The pounds 130m investment at Scunthorpe will see Corus install a steel casting machine and meet industry demand for longer sections of rail. It will also look to develop its rod mills to enhance rolling capability.

Corus director Paul Lormor said aim was to improve the competitiveness of the company's core products.

Michael Leahy, general secretary of Community, formed by the merger of the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation and National Union of Knitwear, Footwear and Apparel Trades, said: "Today's investment announcement by Corus will ensure that the rail needs of the UK can be met within the UK. However, it is obviously disappointing news for our members at Workington, who will see Corus' rail production transferred to Scunthorpe by 2006, after over 100 years of production in the town."
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Title Annotation:Business Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Feb 17, 2005
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