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Unite says Tata Steel needs long-term vision
A UNION has accused a steel company of not having a strategy to build the business after it revealed plans to cut jobs.
Tata Steel yesterday revealed 40 management and administration posts are at risk across plants in Redcar and Skinningrove, east Cleveland, as part of plans to cut 500 UK jobs.
Steel bosses made the decision after struggling against a drop in demand for steel, particularly in the UK construction market, which stands at about half of 2007 levels.
However, Paul Reuter, Unite national officer, said: “Last year, Tata Steel announced 1,000 job cuts and now the company is coming back for more.
“It is trying to sack its way out of a downturn rather than thinking strategically about selling steel and looking at the long-term.
“This is the worst possible news for these workers as they head into winter and Christmas approaches.
“That is why we are urging Tata Steel in the UK to look at what steps are needed to grow the company rather than slashing jobs.”
The plans include proposals to axe 340 jobs in Scunthorpe and 90 in Workington, with 40 posts affected across Redcar, where it runs the Teesside Beam Mill, which rolls and finishes structural sections for use in construction, and Skinningrove, which provides steel for track shoes on earthmoving vehicles.
Karl Koehler, Tata Steel's European operations chief executive, said the company had been forced into making changes.
He said: “European steel demand this year is expected to be only two-thirds of pre-crisis levels after falls in the past two years.
“On top of the challenging economic conditions, rules covering energy and the environment in Europe and the UK threaten to impose huge additional costs on the steel industry.
“As difficult as the proposed changes are, they are intended to build a stronger future.”
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