Tata Steel planning to axe 1,200 jobs, says BBC

Posted on 16 Oct 2015 by Jonny Williamson

Following the closure of SSI’s Redcar plant earlier this week – at a loss of 2,200 jobs, Tata Steel will reportedly announce 1,200 job cuts at its Scunthorpe steel site sometime next week.

According to the BBC, Tata have yet to deny reports which allege the 3,000-strong workforce is to be culled at one of the UK’s biggest steel facilities.

There are also rumours that the company could be planning to axe more jobsat its Sottish sites.

The news comes as a further blow to the UK steel industry, a sector which has been struggling of late due to falling demand for steel across the globe.

Prices have plummeted by half over the past year, a situation compounded by the fluctuations in the yuan and rouble.

Trade unions met with government representatives today to debate ways to salvage the UK steel industry following the closure of SSI’s Redcar plant in the North East.

Chaired by Business Secretary Sajid Javid, the summit looked to discuss global market trends and future prospect to help determine what can be done for the UK steel industry.

Gareth Stace, new director, UK Steel.
Gareth Stace, director, UK Steel.

Director of UK Steel, Gareth Stace commented: “Britain’s steel makers are facing the most intense crisis since the sector was privatised. We need all parties to come together now to bring forward solutions that will place the long term future of the sector on a sustainable footing.

“This isn’t about handouts, but giving the sector the opportunity to compete in this global market.”

According to experts, UK steel producers are facing a number of market and structural challenges, in part caused by slowing demand in China leading a flood of steel exports. This has led to diminished prices and market distortions.

In the 2014, the excess steel capacity of China was in the region of 340m tonnes – twice the amount of demand in the EU and 30 times higher than the UK’s steel production output of 12.1m tonnes.

CBI director general, John Cridland referred to new job losses at steelworks in Scunthorpe and Scotland as “devastating”, particularly for those who have lost their jobs and the wider local community.

He continued: “To secure the future of our industrial base the Government needs to work in partnership with businesses on a long-term industrial strategy. It should also act to guard against excess market supply, support industry by removing plant and machinery from business rates calculations, and secure lower costs for energy intensive industries to help make steelmakers more competitive in the global marketplace.”

The UK steel industry employs around 30,000 people and in 2013 exported £4.9bn in value and made a £9.5bn contribution to the UK economy.