Government urged to defend Dutch steel industry

Tata Steel overlooks the beach in IJmuiden. Photo:
Tata Steel overlooks the beach in IJmuiden. Photo:

The Dutch government must do ‘everything in its power’ to retain the steel industry in IJmuiden at its current level, says Ineke Dezentje Hamming-Bluemink, chairman of metal industry organisation FME, in Friday’s Financieele Dagblad.

Germany’s ThyssenKrupp wants to buy Tata Steel Nederland from its parent company Tata Steel and the FME fears this could hurt jobs at the former Hoogovens plant.

‘Many Dutch jobs could be lost if crucial industrial innovation is relocated from this country to Germany,’ Dezentje Hamming-Bluemink said.

‘Germany, France and other governments do not hesitate to protect the interests of the national industries. It is now time for our government to do the same and take action to preserve the unique position of a Dutch steel company.’

‘If IJmuiden is acquired by Thyssen-Krupp, we fear that thousands of jobs will disappear here in time,’ Frits van Wieringen, the chairman of the plant’s central works council, told the FD.

The job losses are likely to particularly severe in ‘in support services such as IT and procurement, where there is duplication with Thyssen-Krupp,’ Van Wieringen said. ‘We have invited the board to hold talks. Tata is reluctant to provide information. And we do not want to wait until everything has already been arranged before we are asked for our advice.’

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