BREAKING NEWS: Job losses at Tata Steel announced

TATA Steel has announced that 126 jobs are to go at its Aldwarke specialty steels site in Rotherham.

A distribution centre in Leeds is also to close, leading to 11 new posts at Rotherham.

Ironically, Tata says it is to invest a further £2.75 million in the Rotherham-based business as the company restructures its Bar business to focus on supplying hi-tech products to advanced manufacturing sectors.

The restructuring follows a significant decline in demand for bar steel products in a number of key markets. As a result of this reduced demand, Tata Steel is proposing to reduce its production and shift levels which will lead to the loss of jobs at Rotherham along with 16 in Stocksbridge and nine in Wednesbury, West Midlands.

The company announced similar changes in 2009 to focus its South Yorkshire-based Speciality Steels business on high-value markets. Tata Steel’s Bar business will be integrated into its Speciality Steels business, as part of the changes.

The plans at Tata Steel’s Bar business are part of wide-ranging restructuring proposals the company has announced today to strengthen the competitiveness of its UK activities, it claimed.

Mark Broxholme, Managing Director of Tata Steel’s Speciality Steels and Bar business, said: “These proposed changes are a critical part of developing a sustainable and competitive Bar business.

“Tata Steel is showing its commitment to making this strategy work by committing £2.75 million of investment for the Bar business. We are investing in improvements to our steelmaking in Rotherham as well as to the final quality of our products.

“Over the coming weeks, our priority will be to help our employees through this difficult process and keep them up to date with the changes. We will do everything we can to provide them with support and assistance.”

The process of consultation with Tata Steel employees and their representatives will begin today.

Tata Steel currently employs 2,200 people at its Specialty Steels and Bar business in the UK, including 1,050 in Rotherham and 70 in Wednesbury.