Tata Steel promises no NL layoffs at reorganization

Tata Steel in IJmuiden (Photo: Alf van Beem/Wikimedia Commons)Tata Steel in IJmuiden (Photo: Alf van Beem/Wikimedia Commons)

There will be no forced layoffs at the Dutch branch of Tata Steel in the reorganization of the Indian steel group. Trade union FNV threatened labor actions if Tata Steel did not comply with existing employment retention agreements. And in response, Tata Steel Europe released a statement stressing that there will be no changes in the "status of the structure and agreements that have already been made," NOS reports.

The agreement with the unions that there will be no layoffs at Tata Steel in IJmuiden lasts until October next year. FNV demanded that these agreements be extended by five years. The Tata Steel Europe statement did not elaborate on that demand.

The union, and others, also previously argued for the Dutch branch of Tata Steel to be nationalized. A spokesperson for Tata Steel Europe told NOS that the company in IJmuiden will not be split off. "It is important that everyone realizes that together we can achieve much more than a single location can do," the spokesperson said. 

FNV director Roel Berghuis is not impressed with the Tata Steel Europe reactions to the union's demands. In addition to employment retention, there are many other agreements that the company did not address, he said to NH Nieuws. "They are making a 'pledge' that has already been agreed with the unions," he said. "The commitment is so limited that it is not a commitment. I have not heard from them at all. Normally you'd go around the table, but that did not happen."

The statement from Tata Steel Europe is in response to unrest at the Dutch branch caused by the abrupt departure of IJmuiden CEO Theo Henrar. The official line is that Henrar left of his own accord, but the works council and employees in IJmuiden are convinced he was forced out because of his advocacy for the Dutch branch.