Hundreds of Scottish Jobs at Risk as Tata Steel Plan Large-Scale Redundancies
October 19, 2015
Hundreds of jobs are at risk at the Scottish sites owned by Tata Steel as the industrial giant looks to scale back its operations in the UK.
As many as 1,200 of the company’s British employees are facing the prospect of being made redundant with around 450 currently working at two Tata plants in Motherwell and in Rutherglen.
Details on Tata’s plans are expected to be officially announced early this week but people within the steel industry are bracing themselves for very sizable job cuts.
The developments add to a growing list of bad news stories for the British steel industry, with SSI UK, the owners of a now mothballed steelworks in Redcar, having recently entered liquidation at the cost of hundreds of jobs in the North East of England.
While refusing to comment on what it called “rumour and speculation” with regard to its plans in the UK, Tata Steel has released statements shedding some light on its intentions and views on the British steel industry as it stands.
“We’ve been talking about the challenges we’re facing in the UK for many months; surging imports, compounded by the strong pound and uncompetitive policy costs,” a spokesperson for the company said.
“We’ve made a number of structural changes to our UK business over the last months and years to make us more competitive. Like all companies we continue to review the performance of our business.”
A spokesperson from the Scottish Government said: “In the unfortunate event of any redundancies, our initiative for responding to redundancy situations, Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE), stands ready to offer support for affected employees and to work closely with the company and workforce representatives to provide a tailored package of support, should this be required.”
Roy Rickhuss from the union group Community described the prospect of job cuts at Tata Steel’s UK plants as “yet another blow to our steel communities”.
He said his organisation would be seeking to meet with the Scottish Government “as a matter of urgency to discuss what support they can offer to Tata Steel’s Scottish steel mills at Dalzell and Clydebridge”.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said her party “will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find and secure a viable future for these plants and for our steel industry here in Scotland”.
She told her party conference in Aberdeen: “If our worst fears are realised next week, I can confirm that I will immediately establish a task force to work with the company, the trade unions and the relevant local authorities.”
If you live in Scotland and have been affected by the collapsing UK steel industry – maybe redundancy is looming or your business is a supplier to a steel firm – you can contact SDS for a free consultation and our advisers can talk you through your options professionally and confidentially.
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