Tuesday 19 November 2019 4:53 pm

'Shock' as Tata Steel announces 3,000 European job cuts, with effects on UK workers unclear

Unions have called for clarity from Tata Steel over its plans to cut 3,000 jobs in Europe, amid fears the announcement could affect its workers in Port Talbort, south Wales.

Tata announced the job losses, which equate to about one-sixth of its workforce, on Tuesday night, as the steelmaker flights plunging profit after a failed merger with Thyssenkrupp.

The firm, which employs 8,500 people in the UK, mostly at Port Talbot, said about two-thirds of the job cuts would be office-based workers. 

That means the majority will likely be from its operations in the Netherlands, but some estimates still forecast as many as 1,400 of the cuts could come in the UK.

Roy Rickhuss, steelmaking Community union’s general secretary, said: “This is a shocking announcement which has been badly handled and the company should hang its head in shame with the way this development has been communicated.”

Mr Rickhuss said: “We want a long-term vision for the future of steelmaking in Tata Steel Europe, not the management of decline by 3,000 job cuts.”

Mike Payne, GMB union senior organiser, said: “This uncertainty and constant threat of job losses drains confidence from the whole workforce.”

Tata said it was facing “severe market headwinds”.