Tata Steel's long products business today announced restructuring proposals to help strengthen its competitiveness. The proposed changes affect predominately management and administrative functions at sites in Scunthorpe, Teesside and Workington and could lead to the loss of around 500 jobs. About 340 positions could be affected in Scunthorpe, 90 in Workington and 40 in Teesside.
The proposals come amid a prolonged downturn in demand for some of the key products made by the Scunthorpe-based business, including the UK market for construction steel, which is about half of 2007 levels.
In addition, Tata Steel's subsidiary UK Steel Enterprise will look at how it can provide more support to the local communities affected by today's announcement and help stimulate new job creation in those areas.
Jon Bolton, director of the Tata Steel's long products operations, said: ''UK demand for construction steel has fallen further since we launched an improvement programme at our long products business in 2011. This further market decline means we must now build on the work we have been doing to restore long products' ability to compete throughout the economic cycle. The proposed changes at our Workington engineering operations, meanwhile, are as a result of a shortfall in external projects. Today's proposals would help us build a more sustainable business.
''I know this will be a difficult and unsettling time for affected employees and their families. This action, unfortunately, cannot wait if we are to remain a vital foundation industry supporting the UK's manufacturing and construction sectors. We will work closely with our trade union colleagues and government at a national and local level to ensure we provide our employees with as much assistance and support as possible,'' he added.
Shares of the company gained Rs 13.25, or 4.24%, to settle at Rs 325.65. The total volume of shares traded was 1,467,379 at the BSE (Tuesday).