Tuesday, December 8, 2015

News: Tata Steel reject Syndex recommendations

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Tata Steel has confirmed that it has rejected proposals that would have seen less redundancies at its speciality and bar business where 720 jobs are at risk.

In July, the Indian-owned steelmaker announced proposals for the next stage in its plans to refocus its speciality and bar business on high-value markets such as aerospace which included changes that would result in a reduction in employee numbers, mainly at its Rotherham-based bar business.

Tata said that the bar business in Rotherham has been "underperforming in the face of commodity-grade steel being imported to the UK due to the strong pound and high electricity costs which are more than double those of key European competitors."

Meetings continue to take place with unions as Tata confirms that jobs will go.

The firm said in a statement: "The bar business has been underperforming in the face of commodity-grade steel being un-fairly traded in the UK, the strong pound and high energy costs. This led to a decision, after examining all the options, of refocussing on higher-value markets which can help the company reduce its losses and turn the corner to profitability in the future.

"While Tata Steel is thankful of the work done by the Trade Unions via their consultants, Syndex, none of the recommendations proposed would have given us the solid base required to ensure we can continue to employ around 1,500 people in South Yorkshire as we continue to operate against strong market headwinds.

"We continue to work closely with potentially affected employees and their trade union representatives."

John Healey MP believes that there will be 350 compulsory redundancies. More than 500 jobs will go in Rotherham, at the Aldwarke plant for which Mr Healey is MP.

The MP, who is set to meet with business minister Anna Soubry this week, said: "With hundreds of forced redundancies ahead, steel workers are facing a bleak Christmas and new year. They need all the help we can get."

He has repeated calls for financial support for the town after the Government and Tata pledged £9m for workers at Tata Steel in a similar situation in Scunthorpe.

A joint action plan has been put together for the Sheffield city region in a bid to help create a more level playing field for Tata Steel and to help mitigate the economic impact on the city region of Tata restructuring.

Tata Steel website

Images: Tata Steel

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