ThyssenKrupp Nirosta Shortens Working Hours on Weak Orders

ThyssenKrupp Nirosta GmbH will shorten working hours at its Bochum plant in Germany from September because of weak orders.

“ThyssenKrupp Nirosta expects short-time working to be used only as a short-term measure” agreed with the works council, the company said today in a statement.

Monica Soffritti, a spokeswoman for the company, declined to give a more precise period or the amount by which production will be reduced when contacted by phone. About 456 employees, or 11 percent of the unit’s staff, are affected.

ThyssenKrupp Nirosta is part of ThyssenKrupp’s Inoxum Group which Outokumpu Oyj (OUT1V), a Finish maker of stainless steel, agreed to buy on Jan. 31 in a deal valuing the German unit at about 2.7 billion euros ($3.4 billion). The Espoo, Finland-based company said last week that it received a European Union antitrust complaint, a so-called statement of objections, over the plan to create Europe’s largest maker of the alloy.

ThyssenKrupp, which would retain a 29.9 percent stake in the business, still expects to close the deal by the end of 2012.

The group’s ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG unit introduced shortened shifts in August due to weak orders. The measure affected production sites in Duisburg-Hamborn, Duisburg- Huettenheim, Bochum, Dortmund and the Siegerland area.

Reduced shifts for the unit are expected to remain in place until the end of the year, ThyssenKrupp said last month. About 12 percent of 17,500 workers are affected.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tino Andresen in Dusseldorf at tandresen1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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