Steel workers brace for heavy job cuts

Tata Steel is due to announce later today 1,200 job cuts at its plants in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire.

The job losses at Tata are from an area of the company that failed to sell earlier this year.

The industry blames cheap Chinese imports for the collapse in steel prices.

David Cameron has said he will raise this issue with China’s President Xi Jingping, during his four-day state visit. The General Secretary of Community, Roy Rickhuss, has said that Cameron “needs to tell the Chinese premier what action he’s going to take to stop Chinese steel damaging the future of a vital foundation industry in the UK” [1].

Indian-owned Tata has decided to cut back on its UK operations due to the strength of the pound, alongside the falling metal prices.

The job cuts have worried Scotland in its future within the metal industry, as the plant in Lanarkshire is one of the UK’s largest plants, currently employing 4,000 people.

John Park, Assistant General Secretary of Trade Union Community said: “The significance of this is that it could be the end of steel production in Scotland. Tata Steel have to be persuaded to mothball the site rather than close it, and the Scottish government has to have a role in keeping the infrastructure secure and supporting short-time work until a future can be secured” [1].

Caparo Administrators PwC said workers would be paid and briefed on developments, adding: “It is business as usual while the administrators’ review gets under way” [1].

[1] BBC News. ‘Tata Steel workers braced for 1,200 job cuts’.