Tata Steel to cut up to 1,000 UK jobs

27 November 2019, 18:05

Up to 1,000 UK jobs are at risk
Up to 1,000 UK jobs are at risk. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Tata Steel has announced up to a thousand jobs in the UK are among 3,000 expected to be cut across its European operations.

The steelmaking company, that has a plant in Port Talbot, south Wales, said the job losses were "designed to safeguard its long-term future" and "build a financially strong and sustainable European business."

Tata Steel's proposals will cut its continental workforce by up to 3,000 people, of which two-thirds will be office-based or management roles, as part of a "transformation."

Around 1,600 job losses are expected in the Netherlands and a further 350 elsewhere around the globe.

Tata Steel has a plant in Port Talbot, south Wales
Tata Steel has a plant in Port Talbot, south Wales. Picture: PA

Henrik Adam, the firm's CEO in Europe, said: "I'm very proud to see the dedication of everyone in this business, determined to succeed even in the face of a very tough market.

"I also understand and appreciate colleagues' concerns about these proposals. Change creates uncertainty, but we cannot afford to stand still as a company - the world around us is changing fast and we have to adapt.

"Our strategy is to build a strong and stable European business, capable of making significant investments needed for a successful future."

However, Community union boss Roy Rickhuss accused the company of "management failure," saying he was "seriously concerned" about the announcement and the lack of "a plan B."

"We have consistently called for a vision for the future, which includes plans for investment. Yet again that is lacking," the union chief said.

"We have been presented with short-term plans, which only create worry and uncertainty and do little to inspire confidence.

"It feels like the company is just managing decline and we need a significant change of direction that can inspire the workforce that they have a future."

Tata Steel has been accused of showing "contempt" for its workers
Tata Steel has been accused of showing "contempt" for its workers. Picture: PA

Mr Rickhuss also accused Tata Steel of showing "complete and utter contempt for the workforce" and suggested they "revisit" their plans.

In a previous statement, the firm said there would be no UK plant closures. However, unions raised their concerns over job losses in the organisation.

Speaking earlier this month when the idea of job cuts was first aired, Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said: "This is a shocking announcement, which will worry many steelworkers and their families in the UK and across Europe."

Tata has one steelmaking plant in Wales, alongside five other facilities, The Port Talbot sire employs 4,000 workers, however it is unclear which locations will be affected by the job losses.

The business employs around 20,000 people worldwide and is owned by Indian firm Tata.