Britain’s beleaguered steel industry suffered another blow as Tata Steel UK on Monday announced 1,050 job losses at four units as part of a new restructure “caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China”.
The plans would lead to the loss of 750 jobs at the Port Talbot-based Strip Products UK business, 200 jobs in support functions and a further 100 jobs at steel mills in Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool, the company said.
There have been demands that the David Cameron government put in place a rescue package for the steel industry reeling under cheap imports. Other steel plants in Britain too have announced job losses in recent months.
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.”
He added, “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.”
Koehler said Tata Steel had invested £1.5 billion in its UK operations, and now needs all stakeholders to do their utmost to meet the unprecedented challenges the steel sector is facing.
Stuart Wilkie, director of Strip Products UK, said: “We have to accelerate the changes we announced last August, by lowering our costs at the same time as focusing on manufacturing higher-value products. These are urgent steps needed to give this business a chance of survival.”