23 November 2012

Tata Steel to cut 900 jobs in the UK including 580 jobs in South Wales

- Cut 155 jobs in Yorkshire, 120 in the West Midlands & 30 in Teesside 
- To restart one furnace in Port Talbot and hot strip mill in Newport

23 November 2012 - Tata Steel has today announced restructuring proposals to improve the competitiveness of its UK operations so they can successfully perform in changing markets. 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 £250 million investment programme – 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

Today’s proposals include 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 programmes 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 £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. 

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. 

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.” 

“In addition, our subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise will be looking at how it can provide more support to local steel communities and stimulate new jobs following today’s announcement. We will strengthen this work with a further £650,000 to help them create new jobs in affected areas. UK Steel Enterprise has teams in all the affected locations who, for almost four decades, have helped to regenerate local economies and create 70,000 new jobs in the UK.” 

Last year, Tata Steel launched a five-year improvement programme backed by significant investment, including almost £250 million to rebuild a blast furnace and install energy-efficient gas recycling at Port Talbot. Today’s proposals follow restructuring at the company’s other production hubs in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, and IJmuiden, Netherlands. 

The European operations of Tata Steel comprise Europe's second largest steel producer, with the main steelmaking operations in the UK and Netherlands. The combined Tata Steel Group is one of the world’s largest steel producers, with an aggregate crude steel capacity of more than 28 million tonnes and approximately 81,000 employees across five continents. 

Source: Tata Steel