New Tata Steel NL boss named amid growing employee anger

Tata Steel IJmuiden at sunset
The sun sets on the Tata Steel complex in IJmuiden. July 8, 2018.Photo: portosabbia / DepositPhotos

Hans van den Berg, vice-chairman Tata Steel Netherlands (TSN) in IJmuiden, will step into the shoes of former chairman Theo Henrar as the company's new chief, the steel giant announced this week.

"A logical choice," TSN's Central Works Council chairman Frits van Wieringen told the newspaper De Telegraaf. "The management consisted of three people, but now that Theo Henrar has been fired, Van den Berg will be his successor. We now have to wait until a new board member is appointed."

Van den Berg has been involved with Tata Steel in various capacities for thirty years, according to the report, and was among the disgruntled workers who blocked the gates to blast furnace grounds to protest Henrar's dismissal on Tuesday morning.

The new appointment follows after months of controversy between TSN and Tata Steel's other international subsidiaries, after threats of mass layoffs at the IJmuiden steel plant racked the company in November last year.

While the decision to lay off employees was later reversed,​ Henrar's abrupt departure on May 18 has sparked fresh concern from his loyal former employees and from unions, who see the move as placing job security in increasing jeopardy, especially in light of the precariousness caused by the Covid-19 health crisis