March 29, 2018 / 12:14 PM / a year ago

Tata Steel labor deal would threaten Thyssenkrupp JV: union

FILE PHOTO - A man wears a helmet with glasses attached during a Thyssenkrupp steel workers protest rally in Bochum, Germany, September 22, 2017, against the planned combination of the group's European steel operations with those of Tata Steel. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

DUESSELDORF (Reuters) - A far-reaching agreement between India’s Tata Steel (TISC.NS) and its Dutch unit could put at risk plans for a steel joint venture with Thyssenkrupp (TKAG.DE), the German group’s supervisory board vice chairman said.

Last month Tata Steel guaranteed its Dutch division that it could continue to operate as an independent company within the planned joint venture with Thyssenkrupp, with control over its own profits and an independent supervisory board.

“Should the agreement for the Netherlands remain in place we will demand the same for us,” Markus Grolms, who also serves as trade union secretary at the IG Metall union, told Reuters. “But then a joint venture no longer makes sense because every unit would only act on its own.”

Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel last year announced plans to combine their European steel operations to create the continent’s second-largest player after ArcelorMittal (MT.AS), including up to 4,000 job cuts.

Thyssenkrupp declined to comment.

Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Arno Schuetze

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