Indian multinational steel-making company Tata Steel has confirmed that it plans to reduce its headcount in the UK by 1,050, with 750 jobs to be lost at its Port Talbot steelworks in Wales, it was reported on Monday.
The local economy of Port Talbot is expected to experience severe repercussions as a result of these job losses, as many service firms and contractors rely on the Port Talbot plant. These direct cuts will have a knock-on effect across the whole region, with the local community being severely affected.
Port Talbot is the UK’s biggest steelworks, which currently employs 4,000 workers. However the plant is reportedly losing GBP1m per day. Tata will also be cutting staff numbers at mills in Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool, as well as 200 support jobs.
According to Tata, European steel prices have fallen as a result of cheap imports. Chinese imports are reportedly being sold at artificially low prices, with Chinese steel shipments into EU have doubling over the past ?two years while steel prices have collapsed by about 40%, data from International Steel Statistics Bureau has shown.
Chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, Karl Koehler, was quoted as saying: “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 that the EU must take stronger action against “unfair” steel imports.
Tata Steel is the biggest steel producer in the UK and became the second largest steel producer in the Europe after it bought Corus, formerly British Steel, for GBP8bn in 2007. The company also owns steel making sites in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and south east Asia.
The company reportedly employed 17,000 workers in the UK before it began cutting jobs in 2015. It slashed 1,200 jobs at its sites in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire last October and it has been reported that it is aiming to reduce its UK workforce to 14,000 on completion of various consultation processes.