Tata Steel said it will cut 720 jobs in the UK due to the strong pound and high operating costs, as it plans to refocus its speciality and bar business on high-value markets such as aerospace. Tata Steel noted that the plant 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.
It added that it will work closely with the affected employees and their trade union representatives to redeploy them and minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.
“Energy is one of our largest costs at our speciality and bar business and we are disadvantaged by the UK’s cripplingly high electricity costs. And while the UK Government announced helpful measures to reduce the impact of its high energy taxes a few years ago, these measures still haven’t been introduced,” Karl Koehler, CEO of Tata Steel’s European operations, said in a statement.