Liberty Steel: 185 redundancies confirmed at Rotherham steelworks - as calls for it to be brought into public ownership grow

A Rotherham councillor has called for industries such as steelworks to be bought back into public ownership, following the announcement that jobs may be lost at Liberty Steel.

Liberty Steel announced it is set to make 440 redundancies due to ‘challenging market conditions’ – including 185 in Rotherham.

Jeffrey Kabel, chief transformation officer for Liberty Steel Group, said the firm had put £200m into the business over the last two years but cuts were still necessary.

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The company said it hoped to find an alternative to redundancy through a programme which aims to “retain, redeploy and reskill” affected staff.

Liberty Steel Thrybergh Mill in RotherhamLiberty Steel Thrybergh Mill in Rotherham
Liberty Steel Thrybergh Mill in Rotherham

During a full council meeting on January 18, Councillor Michael Bennet-Sylvester said: “Strategic industries such as steel should be under public ownership, not individual ownership, and if something can’t be resolved that’s something the company should look at.”

Council leader, councillor Chris Read told the meeting: “All our thoughts are with those affected at Liberty, following the company’s announcement of 440 potential potential redundancies, including 185 potentially in Rotherham.

“The company is undertaking a 45 day consultation period, and council officers have met with senior members of staff to identify the support that the council may be able to offer individuals who are affected.

“This is incredibly unwelcome news at what is already a very difficult time for the local economy.”