More than 1,000 jobs to go at Tata Steel plants as “cheap imports” flood the UK

18th January 2016


Tata Steel UK has today announced cost-saving proposals which will mean the loss of 1,050 jobs.

The firm said on Monday that the vast majority, at 750 of these roles, will be cut at its Port Talbot-based Strip Products UK business.

Another 200 jobs in support functions will go while a further 100 at steel mills in Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool will be lost.

The proposed changes follow continued falls in the European steel price caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China, the group said in a statement.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “I know this news will be unsettling for all those affected, but these tough actions are critical in the face of extremely difficult market conditions which are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

“We need the European Commission to accelerate its response to unfairly traded imports and increase the robustness of its actions.

“Not doing so threatens the future of the entire European steel industry. And while we welcome progress on UK energy costs, the Government must take urgent action to increase the competitiveness of the UK for its vital steel sector.

“This includes lowering business rates and supporting energy efficiency and anti-dumping cases so we can compete fairly.”

Commenting on the announcement TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “With the manufacturing sector now in recession, the last thing Britain needs is further damage to the steel industry. Steel is a foundation industry on which other sectors depend. Britain desperately needs a real industrial strategy.

“Ministers in London need to wake up and smell the coffee. Cheap Chinese steel imports are wrecking the steel industry. The government must take measures to prevent China from dumping cheap steel on the world market.

“The British government can start by opposing the granting of market economy status to China, and by using business rates and procurement policy to protect this vital industry.”

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