Corus workers’ unions reject 10% pay cut proposal

Unions representing workers at the steel-making firm Corus have rejected a proposed 10% pay cut for the company’s 25,000-strong workforce as talks continue with the employer in an attempt to strike a deal to reduce employment costs.

Corus met with about 100 union representatives London yesterday to discuss the options available to cut costs during the economic downturn, which has seen steel prices more than halve since the summer. No agreement was met.

However Community, the main steel workers’ union, GMB and Unite have all denied that the proposed 10% cut in wages was suggested as an alternative to the closure of Corus’s Llanwern plant, saving 1,000 jobs in the process.

A joint statement from the three unions stated: “The unions at Corus have been holding ongoing discussions with a view to protecting the interest of members during the economic downturn, which is having a significant impact on the demand for steel. The company’s proposals for a 10% pay cut were one of a range of options which have so far been rejected by the unions.”

A spokesman for the steel-making firm said: “Corus is taking an inclusive approach to the financial crisis, which is having a significant impact on the company’s order book, and is actively discussing options with employees and their representatives in the UK. In the short term, payroll reductions and specific government support for temporary unemployment could be of great assistance to address the current market conditions.”