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Industry

ThyssenKrupp to axe thousands of steel jobs

Thousands of steelmakers in Europe must fear for their jobs as German steel giant ThyssenKrupp has announced major reductions at its Steel Europe division. The cuts aim to improve the firm's profitability.

The job cuts would be in the range of more than 2,000 and would primarily affect the 27,600 workforce employed by its Steel Europe division, ThyssenKrupp management announced Friday.

In addition, the steelmaker said a further 1,800 workers might be made redundant under efforts to restructure its business portfolio, including divesting loss-making units.

In its 2012 fiscal year, which ended last September, ThyssenKrupp wrote a loss of 4.7 billion euros ($6.2 billion), caused by weak demand for steel in crisis-hit Europe, as well as by major write-downs on two steel plants in Brazil and the United States.

The heavy industry conglomerate, which is Germany's largest steel producer, said the measures were aimed at reducing costs in Europe by 500 million euros as part of a restructuring drive to save 2 billion euros in the whole group by 2015.

On Friday, Germany's powerful IG Metal metalworkers' union called on ThyssenKrupp to refrain from making workers redundant and to seek early retirement schemes for them instead. The labor union also urged management to start investing in its Steel Europe division to regain profitability in the unit.

uhe/dr (AFP, Reuters, dpa)

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