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Downsizing deals - TATA Steel cuts 885 jobs in UK
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Saturday, 24 Nov 2012

TATA Steel announced restructuring proposals to improve the competitiveness of its UK operations so they can successfully perform in changing markets

The proposed changes are expected to lead to a net loss of 900 jobs in the UK, including 580 in South Wales, 155 in Yorkshire, 120 in the West Midlands and 30 in Teesside.

This proposal includes the restructuring of management and administrative functions which would lead to the loss of 500 jobs at TATA Steel’s Port Talbot based production hub in South Wales. Similar restructuring programs were initiated last year at the company’s other two production hubs.

The company is proposing to make changes at a number of steel finishing and processing sites in the UK that would improve its product and service offering for customers. These changes would concentrate services at six distribution and processing hubs which would benefit from GBP 22 million of new investment and new employment, but would also lead to the closure of 12 sites, including Tafarnaubach and Cross Keys in South Wales. In addition, shift levels at the company’s Rotherham and Hartlepool operations will be reduced to match production to lower demand for bar products and pipelines.

Mr Karl Köhler CEO of TATA Steel’s European operations said “Today’s proposals are part of a strategy to transform ourselves into an ‘all-weather’ steel producer, capable of succeeding in difficult economic conditions. These restructuring proposals will help make our business more successful and sustainable, but the job losses are regrettable and I know this will be a difficult and unsettling time for the employees and their families affected. We will be working with our trade unions and government at a national and local level to ensure we provide them with as much assistance and support as possible.

Mr Michael Leahy, General Secretary of the Community trade union and Chair of the trade unions Steel Committee, said: “This news will be of great concern to many of our members and their families. We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the company to ensure our principle of no compulsory redundancies is upheld, although we are pleased to see the company has already committed to offering a package of training and support for those affected by these changes.

The news coincides with a decision that the company is to restart Blast Furnace 4 one of two blast furnaces in Port Talbot, South Wales, which is being rebuilt as part of a GBP 250 million investment program in the first quarter of 2013. It will also lead to the restarting of the hot strip mill at the company’s Llanwern site in Newport, South Wales.

Source - TATA Steel


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