Tata Steel: job loss figure revised but 500 still at risk in UK
Unite the union is calling for urgent talks to discuss the implication for jobs at Tata’s UK sites.
Last November it was expected that job losses at Tata could be in the region of 3,000 across Europe, but that figure has now been lowered.
According to reports the company has revised figures and now wants to shed around 500 jobs in the UK, 500 fewer than previously thought.
In a letter to staff on Monday, Tata Steel Europe’s chief executive Henrik Adam, described the company’s financial situation as “serious”.
“There’s an urgent priority to improve the performance of the business and our cash position,” he said.
We have identified a range of measures, including not replacing employees who have retired or left the business, which would minimise job losses,” Mr Adam said.
The proposed plans aim to secure the future of our company and do what’s best for our employees given the very challenging circumstances we’re currently facing…
Arrangements will be made to commence consultations for the start of April on the proposed organisational changes with the relevant national employee representatives.
Our transformation is about securing the future of our business for generations of steelmakers to come.” Mr Adam said.
Before Christmas, Unite said it was not prepared to stand by and let possible job losses to go ahead at the Port Talbot plant in Wales and at other sites across the UK – including Deeside – which employ a total of about 8,500 workers.
Unite officer with national responsibility for Tata Steel Tony Brady said: “Unite is calling for urgent talks with Tata Steel management to ascertain the exact implications for jobs in the UK, especially in Wales where the company has a large presence.
Although the figure for possible job losses across Europe now appears to be smaller than originally thought, we will campaign against any job losses. We don’t believe that the company’s plans, which are centred on cost cutting, are the answer.
We will be seeking cast iron assurances on future investment and employment. What top executives need to focus on is reversing years of underinvestment.
We appreciate that the UK industry continues to face unique challenges, such as the high energy costs compared with its European competitors, but we will not stand by and let one of the cornerstones of British industry be reduced even further.”
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Tata Steel has previously confirmed that they intend to seek to avoid compulsory redundancies and the Economy, Transport and North Wales Minister, Ken Skates, has impressed on the company the importance of standing by this commitment.
“There are no further details on where the job losses will fall at this point and we continue to engage with TATA Steel about how this will impact their operations in Wales.
“The Welsh Government continues to do all it can to support a sustainable future for steel in Wales – but we cannot do this alone and that’s why we need urgent action from the UK Government in this week’s budget to address high energy prices for energy intensive industries.”
Welsh shadow business minister Russell George AM said:
“There is little detail in the report about where the job losses will be, and the only positive is that it’s not the 1,000 jobs we all feared.
This, however, is little comfort to the 500 people out of the 6,500 employees in Wales, and the hundreds of others in the rest of the United Kingdom.”
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