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Closure

The mid-1970s saw a worldwide steel crisis and overcapacity in the European steel market. Production in the Meiderich works had to be cut back, resulting in short-time working. From 1979 the sales crisis intensified, leading to the closure of blast furnaces 1 and 2 in the early 1980s.

Nevertheless, the Thyssen Group continued to invest in the Meiderich ironworks. In 1982 it relined the modern blast furnace 5, had a desulphurisation plant built and the gasometer was completely overhauled. Nobody, therefore, was expecting the plant to close and the end caught the workforce completely by surprise.

The last shift was worked on 4 April 1985.

The remaining 300 employees were offered alternative jobs in the Thyssen Ruhrort and Hamborn works, and a social plan and an early retirement scheme meant that any major protests could be avoided.

In the 82 years of its existence, the Meiderich ironworks had produced 37 million tonnes of pig iron.

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