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Tata Steel plans could mean 1,200 job losses

Tata Steel has announced plans to stop production of steel plate in Europe.

The firm said the announcement was a result of cheap imports, particularly from China, as well as a strong pound and high electricity prices.

The proposals affect the Long Products Europe business and could lead to about 1,200 job losses – some 900 in Scunthorpe, 270 in Scotland and a small number at other Long Products Europe sites.

Plate mills in Scunthorpe, Dalzell and Clydebridge would be mothballed while one of the two coke ovens at the Scunthorpe steelworks would be closed.

Tata Steel’s European operations chief executive Karl Koehler said: “I realise how distressing this news will be for all those affected. We have looked at all other options before proposing these changes.

“We will work closely with affected employees and their trade union representatives. We will look to redeploy employees, wherever possible, and minimise employee hardship.

“The UK steel industry is struggling for survival in the face of extremely challenging market conditions. This industry has a crucial role to play in rebalancing the UK economy, but we need a fairer system to encourage growth. The European Commission needs to do much more to deal with unfairly traded imports – inaction threatens the future of the entire European steel industry.”

The consultation process with Tata Steel employees and trade unions has started.

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