Tata Steel Ltd. plans to cut as many as 3,000 jobs across its European operations to cut costs in the latest blow to the region’s industry, with the move coming amid a heated general election campaign in the U.K.
About two-thirds of the reductions would be office-based staff, the company said in a statement. While the steelmaker didn’t give a detailed breakdown, Tata Steel Works Council said more than half of the planned cuts would be in the Netherlands. The company also has facilities in the U.K.
“Stagnant EU steel demand and global overcapacity have been compounded by trade conflicts, which have turned the European market into a dumping ground for the world’s excess steel capacity,” Mumbai-based Tata Steel said.
The European steel industry has faced growing headwinds this year amid declining demand, slowing economic growth and the consistent threat of overseas supplies, including exports from Turkey, Russia and China. British Steel Ltd., the U.K.’s No. 2 steelmaker was put into liquidation in May, and has been taken over China’s Jingye Group Co. Apparent demand in the European Union will contract 3.1% this year, lobby group Eurofer warned last month.
The steelmaker’s European operations are facing conditions that are “unprecedented,” said Henrik Adam, chief executive officer of Tata Steel in Europe. Other steps to improve performance include boosting sales of higher-value steels, aiding efficiency and cutting procurement costs.
The company plans to cut 1,650 jobs in the Netherlands, said Frits van Wieringen, chairman of both the European and Netherlands’ Tata Steel Works Council. He expects the move to lead to a conflict after an accord last year that no jobs would be cut until 2021.
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