September 19, 2017 / 9:47 AM / in a year

Thyssenkrupp works council softens opposition to Tata Steel deal

DUESSELDORF, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Thyssenkrupp’s works council is prepared to consider a merger of the group’s European steel operations with those of Tata Steel, even though it remains opposed to such a move as a way to restructure the business.

“Negotiations will be difficult,” Wilhelm Segerath, head of Thyssenkrupp’s works council and member of the group’s supervisory board, told reporters on Tuesday. “We will examine it and if in the end our conditions are fulfilled and the whole unit is debt-free then it’s a possibility.”

The works council wants job and plant guarantees and investment pledges.

Thyssenkrupp’s supervisory board will meet on Sept. 23 to discuss the possible tie-up, which CEO Heinrich Hiesinger says is the best way to take overcapacity out of the market. Labour leaders, however, are concerned it will cost thousands of jobs. (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; Writing by Christoph Steitz; Editing by Georgina Prodhan)

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