Workers supervise the flow of hot liquid metal at the blast furnace during the iron smelting process at the Thyssenkrupp AG plant in Duisburg, Germany. (Photographer: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg)

Tata Steel Workers No Longer Convinced About Thyssenkrupp Merger

(Bloomberg) -- Tata Steel Ltd.’s European workers said they’re unsure the company’s planned joint venture with Thyssenkrupp AG should go ahead as the combination may favor the German firm’s operations.

Thyssenkrupp offered concessions to regulators earlier this month to win antitrust approval for a European steel joint venture, including selling plants in Belgium, Spain and the U.K. The two companies are trying to ease concerns flagged by European regulators that their combined steel operations would have too much control over market supply and prices.

Tata’s European Works Council, which includes U.K. and Dutch labor unions, said those proposals raise concerns the joint venture is not one of equals.

“The EWC will continue to support the joint venture only if we consider it to be in the best interests of the workforce at all our sites,” Tata’s work council said in a statement. “Due to these recent developments, we are now unconvinced the joint venture is the best option for Tata Steel Europe.”

The works council said it was seeking an urgent meeting with Tata’s chairman to get assurances that would determine its support for the joint venture.

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