Corus, Britain's largest steel-maker owned by India's Tatas, plans to axe 3,500 jobs this week, and more large-scale job losses are expected within weeks, with Jaguar Land Rover considering another 1,500 layoffs, a leading newspaper claimed on Sunday.
Corus, Europe's second largest steelmaker, was bought by Tatas two years ago. Tatas acquired Jaguar Land Rover for 6.7 billion pounds.
The Corus cuts are likely to overshadow this week's announcement by Business Secretary Lord Peter Mandelson of aid to the car industry, The Sunday Times reported.
Loan guarantees to car finance firms will be one of a raft of measures aimed at stimulating demand.
According to the report, Union leaders have been in last-ditch talks with the government to fend off some of the job cuts.
In the case of Corus, they have pressed ministers to adopt a system offered by the Dutch government. Corus has operations in the Netherlands, where the state makes up for the pay of workers put on short working weeks.
Claiming that job losses will go ahead, the newspaper said they were part of a long-term restructuring plan drawn up by outgoing Chief Executive Philippe Varin. Numbers were being finalised this weekend, it said.
There has been a slump in the steel market and steel production worldwide dropped by a quarter in December 2008, according to figures released by the World Steel Association last week.