Tata Steel confirms 720 job cuts in the UK

Tate Steel confirmed that it will cut hundreds of jobs at its South Yorkshire operation after rejecting alternative plans which would have prevented the job losses.

On Friday managers met with unions confirming that 720 jobs will be slashed in Tata Steel’s bar business, including 550 in South Yorkshire – mainly in Rotherham.

The rescue bid proposed by trade unions to prevent the job cuts failed.

Local MP John Healey said: “Rotherham has become the forgotten town of the steel crisis. We’re being hit just as badly as other parts of the country, hundreds of job losses have now been confirmed.”

A Tata Steel spokesman commented: “The bar business has been underperforming in the face of commodity-grade steel being unfairly traded in the UK, the strong pound and high energy costs.

“This led to a decision, after examining all the options, of refocussing on higher-value markets which can help the company reduce its losses and turn the corner to profitability in the future.

“While Tata Steel is thankful of the work done by the trade unions via their consultants, Syndex, none of the recommendations would have given us the solid base required to ensure we can continue to employ around 1,500 people in South Yorkshire.

“We continue to work closely with potentially affected employees and their trade union representatives.”

The UK steel crisis has resulted in over 5,000 job losses so far, with Caparo Industries going into administration, the closure of SSI’s Redcar furnace, and Tata warning of losses at other plants – namely Scunthorpe.

Steel makers in the UK have been struggling and are not able to compete with cheap steel made in China – mainly due to a strong pound and high energy costs.