Jobs could go at Sheffield metal firm

Firth Rixson Forgings Ltd, River Don.
Firth Rixson Forgings Ltd, River Don.
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Almost 100 jobs could go at a Sheffield metal firm when it merges two of its sites.

Manufacturing business Firth Rixson has blamed a lack of orders for proposals to put the work of its Don Valley and Meadowhall premises under one roof, which could mean the loss of 95 positions across all areas of the business.

The global company – which specialises in making hi-tech forgings, superalloy components and seamless rings – informed staff of the proposals this month.

Now union representatives have vowed to fight compulsory job losses and are in talks with their members and bosses.

Doug Patterson, regional officer for Unite in Sheffield, said: “The rationale is that they are going to amalgamate the two sites into a single business unit and lack of orders in the next two quarters.

“We will be pressing the company in talks to try and ascertain how many relate to order book visibility and how many relate to reorganisation.

“We will be pushing the business to consider all alternatives to ensure that it retains the capacity it will need in the second part of next year and to justify the rationale of moving to a single business unit.”

It is believed the split between shopfloor workers and administrative posts will be evenly split in any job losses.

Earlier this year the firm announced around 50 jobs are under threat at its Meadowhall plant, where Firth Rixson is making a major investment in a new forging press.

A spokeswoman for Firth Rixson told The Star: “At this stage we do not wish to comment.”

The Meadowhall plant makes nickel, titanium and steel alloy forgings for the off-road automotive, aerospace, power and defence sectors.

The River Don site makes forgings from stainless and carbon steels, nickel superalloys and titanium alloys for the aerospace, mining and commercial sectors.