Workers at Tata Corus unit Teesside Cast Product (TCP) mills have threatened industrial action after Corus announced a partial closure of the plant. The closure of the plant will render around 1,600 workers jobless.
In addition, the closure of the TCP mill will cost around 8,000 more jobs in its UK supply chain.
Corus said it was forced to announce the closure after a last-minute effort to settle the issue with its customers failed.
The company said it had no other option after an international consortium of customers pulled out halfway through a ten-year contract.
"This is the direct result of the decision in April 2009 by a consortium of four customers responsible for almost 80 per cent of the plant's business to renege on a binding 10-year contract," a company statement said.
Corus said it is open to a good offer for Teesside Cast Products and that it has been working tirelessly to find an alternative long-term solution.
"There has been speculation about potential last minute bidders for the plant. Corus' position remains unchanged. This is a mothballing, not a permanent closure. TCP will be kept ready for a restart. Corus remains open to credible offers for TCP," Corus said in the release.
A workers strike will disrupt Corus's remaining operations at the site, which include a coke works and a port.