Anglo/Dutch company Corus is to send half of its 1,019 workforce at the soon to close Ebbw Vale tin plate plant in Wales to work at the company's sister plant in IJmuiden, the Netherlands, according to a report in The Guardian.
The Dutch factory, which primarily produces tin plate for the food canning industry, will not only be importing a workforce from Wales. Half the production facilities from the Ebbw Yale tin plant will be relocated to Ijmuiden.
The move comes after Corus's British arm caved in to the pressures of having to trade under a strong sterling currency, leaving Corus's Welsh operations hard hit. Out of a total 6,000 redundancies, 3,164 were in Wales.
Ebbw Vale closes at the end of next month, with the final piece of output due on 6 July and about 500 staff due to leave on 19 July.
Karsten Pronk, manager of IJmuiden's tin plate operations, Packaging Plus, insists the changes are part of Corus's "refocusing" of the business which sees UK orders filled by the Trostre works near Llanelli and mainland orders from two continental plants.
Half of Ebbw Vale's 400,000-tonne capacity has been reinstalled at IJmuiden whose output ends up in products for the food and beverage industry and aerosols. A further 50,000 tonnes has gone to Trostre.
Mr Pronk says the new/old line will boost Dutch capacity to 1m tonnes from 800,000 and solve a bottleneck in production, with the plant operating at 95 per cent of capacity - and profitably. Holland suffers from skills shortages, and more staff from Ebbw Vale could soon be making their way to IJmuiden. The Welsh recruits, strong on engineering, will be expected to hone their skills in process and development and team-working.