Jobs to be lost at Hartlepool steel plant

Tata is expected to announce around 1,000 job cuts at plants including Port Talbot and Llanwern in south Wales. See PA story INDUSTRY Steel./Photo by: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
Picture by: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire/Press Association Images.

Tata Steel UK have announced “cost-saving proposals”, which could lead to job losses at its Hartlepool steel plant. 

The plant would see 100 jobs go at the steel mill in Hartlepool, with a total of 1,050 jobs potentially being lost in other Tata Steel UK warehouses and support centres.

The company, an indirect subsidiary of Tata Steel Limited, has said it wants to “improve the competitiveness of its UK business”.

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 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.

“Tata Steel has been a hugely supportive investor and has invested £1.5 billion in its UK operations. We now need all stakeholders to do their utmost to meet the unprecedented challenges the steel sector is facing.”

The proposed changes follow continued falls in the European steel price, caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China.

A full consultation process with employee representatives will begin immediately, it is reported.

The company has steel mills in Trostre, Corby and a strip products UK business in Port Talbot, Wales.

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.

“We will work closely with affected employees and their trade union representatives. Retaining the right skills for the future will be critical, but we will look to minimise employee hardship and redeploy employees where possible.”

Tata Steel’s regeneration arm, UK Steel Enterprise, will look at how it can provide more support to the local communities affected by the today’s announcement and help stimulate new job creation in those areas.

Over the last four decades, the company has helped to regenerate local economies, including South Wales, with £88 million of support and created more than 75,000 new jobs across the UK.

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