There are 2,300 Corus workers waking up this morning with the prospect of a bleak Christmas and New Year before them. They now know that 1,700 of them will be made redundant within the next few months.

Four companies that had got together to form a consortium, which promised to buy steel from the Corus Teesside plant for the next ten years, pulled out in April and left the plant unprofitable with no real plan B.

Corus, now owned by the Indian firm Tata Steel, has said that it will take legal action against the four firms of Marcegaglia of Italy, Dongkuk Steel of South Korea, Duferco Participations of Switzerland, and Alvory of Argentina. But this would take many years to complete and the outcome would not be of any help to the people staring redundancy in the face.

Corus have been diverting work to Teesside to keep the plant going whilst they and the government tried to find a solution. But they have now admitted defeat and the plant will be mothballed.

Corus will they say be able to maintain about 600 jobs. But the company has already had to lose some 5,000 jobs before this.

This will come as a bitter blow to the workers, especially as they pick up their 'papers and read of bankers arguing with the government over how many millions they should get in bonuses.

But on what bedrock are the bankers and profits based? With steel obviously not in great demand it cannot be manufacturing. Is it then just based on the shuffling of computer digits between banks and the government in the form of the quantitative easing and gilt merry-go-round?

Mr Kirby Adams, the head of Tata Steel Europe, said "With the global financial crisis, overcapacity in steel and decline in manufacturing activity, the interest in a facility like this at this moment is simply not here,"

That does not sound like a recipe for a true recovery just round the corner to me.

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