Corus personnel director Allan Johnston has told Personnel Today that the five proposals put forward by the unions during the 90-day consultation period on the 6,050 steelworker job cuts were well planned but were not enough to reverse the management decision.
"The unions put a lot of work into them. But the market is such that we had to take out 3 million tonnes of capacity," he said.
Countering union criticism that the three-month consultation had been a waste of time, he said the management board had already looked at all the possible options. "If something had come forward that was sensible and deliverable we would have done it… but personally I would have been surprised," he explained.
He added, "The consultation process has been very useful in terms of how to deal with the impact on the staff, looking at how to deal with the consequences and working with the Government and unions in a tripartite way to mitigate the effect."
Now that the mandatory consultation process is over, Corus is accelerating the job loss process. Redundancies start this week and will finish in July 2002.
Johnston said the company is working with the Employment Service Job Shops in each of the affected areas and added that other companies such as Ford in South Wales and Nissan in Sunderland are interested in the skills of Corus employees.