Fewer compulsory cuts at steel firm

Ultra large casting at Forgemasters
Ultra large casting at Forgemasters
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Compulsory redundancies at Forgemasters are set to be “significantly” less than the ‘up to 100’ figure first announced by the steelmaker, The Star can reveal.

Notification sent to unions after the initial announcement stated a total of 75 jobs would have to go.

Up to 40 people have expressed an interest in leaving voluntarily - through retirement, resignation or redundancy - ahead of a deadline last week.

The firm had also withdrawn some advertised vacancies.

Unite regional officer Doug Pattinson said: “We hope there will be significantly less than 50 compulsory redundancies.

“It’s not good news, no job losses are, but it’s better than first feared.

“The unions and management are working well together to try to minimise compulsory losses.”

The jobs are expected to go by the end of February. It is the first stage of a three-year turnaround plan, the details of which have yet to be released.

Mr Pattinson added: “Long term I’m very optimistic. The firm has a very good management team and world class workers and facilities that can work to tolerances and limits that can’t be bettered anywhere in the world.”

The redundancies were announced after the firm posted a £9.4m loss due to a ‘storm’ hitting the sector including a decline in oil and gas exploration, high energy prices, slowing global growth and a collapse in steel prices.

On Saturday The Star reported the company had been handed a £30m support package by three key firms in the Trident nuclear submarine programme.

BAE Systems, Babcock International and Rolls-Royce Holdings agreed to underwrite bank loans to the steelmaker after the MoD intervened. It follows reports in November that a Chinese state-backed steelmaker wanted to invest.

Prior to that chief executive Graham Honeyman had confirmed the company had taken out a loan which would fund the business through to the end of March 2017.