Huge blow for steel industry as Tata confirms 1050 jobs to be cut

The Government is set to come under fresh pressure to help the steel industry as workers suffer more job losses.

Tata has announced 1,050 job cuts. 750 jobs would go at Port Talbot, while a further 200 jobs will go in support functions and 100 at steel mills in Trostre, Corby and Hartlepool. The news, made today, is a fresh blow to the industry.

Thousands of job losses were announced last year, with companies blaming high energy costs and cheap Chinese imports.

Gareth Stace, director of UK Steel, said the cuts at Port Talbot, which is losing an estimated £1million a week, was “deeply disappointing news.”

He added: “I am very concerned about the future of the plant and community. This is a site of critical importance to our national industrial infrastructure.

“The job cuts reinforce everything we have been saying about the importance of swift action by all involved to tackle the problems facing our steel industry.

“We have been dealing for some time with a toxic cocktail of conditions, from Chinese dumping of steel to the high cost of energy, and have warned that a strong and rapid response in the UK and, in Brussels, is required.”

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 (UK) 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.”

A Business Department spokesman said it was monitoring the Tata situation closely.

“The government continues to engage closely with Tata on how we can help during this difficult period for the sector,” he added.