Liberty Steel restructuring puts 440 jobs at risk – BBC

Liberty Steel has put 440 jobs at risk under plans to mothball three factories and cut production at another.
The company announced plants in West Bromwich, Newport and Tredegar would be made idle as part of a restructuring of its business.
Meanwhile, production at Rotherham will be scaled back due to high energy costs and foreign imports, which Liberty said had made its operations "unviable".
A union described the announcement as a "body blow" to workers.
Liberty said it had been forced to "refocus" its business to adapt to "challenging market realities".
Up to 185 jobs have been placed at threat in Rotherham under plans to cut production of primary steel, use imported metals and ramp up the making of high-value alloys.
Production and processing facilities in South Wales will be become idle, putting 121 workers in Newport and 35 in Tredegar at risk of redundancy.
The company's plant in West Bromwich will also be made dormant, with 99 roles at risk.
Liberty, part of billionaire metals tycoon's Sanjeev Gupta's GFG Alliance, said it would restart production at the idled plants "when the market and operating conditions allow".
The company said it hoped to find an alternative to redundancy through a programme which aims to "retain, redeploy and reskill" affected staff.
It added the restructuring would forge a "viable way forward" for the business and help safeguard jobs in its wider workforce of 1,900 permanent employees and 3,100 contractors.
Jeffrey Kabel, chief transformation officer for Liberty Steel Group, said: "While our action is expected to regrettably impact the roles of some of our workforce, we will provide a level of guaranteed salary and out placement opportunities through our unique Workforce Solutions programme as an alternative to redundancy."
He added the company remained committed to its longer-term plan to turn its Rotherham plant into a low-carbon factory producing 2 million tonnes of green steel a year.
Liberty Steel has faced cashflow problems since the collapse of its main financier, Greensill Capital, in 2021.
Alun Davies, national officer at steelmakers' union Community, said the announcement of possible job losses was "devastating" to staff who "couldn't have done more" to support the company through its recent struggles.
He added: "Since the collapse of Greensill Capital the trade unions have supported the company because we believed that delivering the company's business plans, which were audited and backed by the unions' independent experts, was the best route to safeguard jobs and the future of all the businesses.
"However, the plans we reviewed were based on substantial investment and ramping up production, including at Liberty Steel Newport, and did not include the 'idling' of any sites."
The union also urged the UK government to "stop dithering and act to deliver the competitive energy prices our industry so desperately needs".
Sarah Champion, the Labour MP for Rotherham, said she was "sickened and beyond angry" by the threat of redundancies and claimed workers had been "abandoned to their fate" by the government.
She added: "'There are simple steps the government could have taken to prevent this; buy British steel for government projects, provide competitive energy costs and address punitive business rates."
The Labour MP Stephen Kinnock, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Steel, said: "We all simply must wake up to the importance of the steel industry and its workers.
"The world will use more steel in the decades ahead than we do today, and in the age of Putin's invasion and China's aggression we desperately need steelmaking capacity here in Britain."
Follow BBC Yorkshire on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Send your story ideas to [email protected].
Sanjeev Gupta steel firms face winding up orders
Liberty Steel cash injection to save 660 jobs
Liberty Steel Group
Popular Doncaster takeway boarded up as customers question its future
Funeral floral wreaths are found dumped in Doncaster alleyway
Digging for Britain: Sheffield Castle’s underground secrets revealed by archaeologists on TV show
Bramley Fall Park death: Tragedy as unknown man's body pulled from Leeds Liverpool Canal
Green Building Renewables buys Scarborough firm as part of Yorkshire expansion drive
Viral UK tree remains cut in half as warring neighbours still ‘at loggerheads’ two years on
Nothing unusual on doomed Nepal flight – official
Global firms fuelling Myanmar's killer weapons
Italy's most-wanted mafia boss arrested in Sicily
Is India seeing a decline in violence?
Lab-grown alternatives aim to cut palm oil dependence
Can humanity's new giant leap into space succeed?
Why morning light is so crucial to your health. Video
Ten little-known facts about Martin Luther King
Unsettling images of invisible 'spirits' around us
The man who first discovered plastic in the ocean. Video
VR headset prices high as Apple bides its time
Plan for a million Christians to visit Jesus site
Britain's lost and legendary 'Area 51'
The axed workers posting epic goodbyes
The skiers dedicated to alpine warfare
© 2023 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *