Anger at Tata steel job losses


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The Independent Online

Union leaders reacted with anger today at news of scores of job losses at a steel plant.

Community said the "desperate" state of the economy was to blame for Tata Steel closing its construction products business at the Llanwern site in Newport, South Wales with the loss of 70 jobs.

National officer Roy Rickhuss said: "This is another case of a good business with a loyal and efficient workforce facing closure because of the desperate state of our economy and the total absence of any plan for manufacturing.

"We are seeking urgent talks with the company and will be exploring every avenue to see what options are available to sustain the business and avoid the need for compulsory redundancies."

Paul Steele, Tata Steel's managing director for distribution UK and Ireland, said: "It is with great regret that, following a detailed review of the TSCP business, we have proposed to cease operations at construction products.

"Clearly this is a very difficult time for the people who work for the business and I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has tried so hard to enable this business, which has operated at a consistent loss since 2008, to overcome the continuing economic downturn.

"The business focuses on floor decking systems, highways barrier systems for roads and parapets, and also lightweight frames for a variety of applications. CP's product range is sold to the construction industry, which has not recovered well from the financial crisis, and to market areas dependent on public procurement activity, which has also been severely affected by the long-running economic downturn.

"Our markets are highly competitive. On two occasions recently the company has attempted to address the business's challenges by restructuring it to focus on new and developing markets. These have included safety platforms for protecting people handling freight and also solar array structures.

"Despite these efforts, most reluctantly, we have come to the conclusion that there are no prospects of generating sufficient viable new business to sustain this operation."