Consultation over the planned redundancies at TATA Steelworks in Scunthorpe are close to breakdown point as the company are insisting on adopting a selection process, instead of relying on volunteers.
Unite, GMB and Community Unions claim that this will lead to compulsory redundancies and have already stated that they will oppose any compulsory job losses.
1500 redundancies were announced last May as part of a restructure process throughout the Long Products Division of TATA steel UK. Approximately 800 of the redundancies are expected at Scunthorpe.
The restructure involves consultation on creating a flexible workforce and concentrating upon efficiency savings.
Sean Scorer, the acting chairman of the works multi-union committee, warned: "At this point, we are close to meaningful engagement breaking down, which could prove disastrous for Scunthorpe.
"We feel our members have been badly let down. There is a clear need for leadership and direction to implement the turn-around plan.
"We recognise the urgent need for restructuring and sincerely hope our actions can bring meaningful dialogue back to the table. But we believe we are being faced with a clear strategy of confrontation and are in the process of consulting with our members".
Since May a significant number of volunteers for redundancy among the employees, aged 54 and over, have been identified and new manning levels had been proposed in the steel plant and iron works areas.
But local consultations in the medium section mill, the rail service centre and the Scunthorpe Rod Mill have broken down after employees claimed long-standing working practices were under attack, which include changes in holiday arrangements.
And 185 workers in the bloom and billet mill, which is due to cease production on October 31 after 38 years, are seeking approval to take industrial action over the job cut talks.