Fears for UK jobs as Tata Steel wipes £1bn from value of Europe operations

Unions said writedown will worry 18,500 staff still reeling from last year's cuts

Fresh fears over the future of UK steel jobs were raised today after India's Tata Steel wiped £1 billion from the value of its European operations.

The group, which has UK operations at sites including Port Talbot, Rotherham and Scunthorpe, blamed the tough economy in Europe where steel demand has slumped by about a third since the start of the financial crisis.

Unions said the huge writedown will worry its 18,500 staff in the UK who are still reeling from 900 job cuts last year.

Tata, which bought Anglo-Dutch steel giant Corus in 2007 for £6.2 billion, has endured a tough time during the downturn as demand from construction and car-making dived, forcing thousands of lay-offs and plant closures.

It employs more than half its 33,000-strong European workforce in the UK.

The company announced another wave of redundancies in November, including almost 600 in South Wales, in an effort to cut costs.

Tata warned tough conditions are likely to persist for the "near and medium-term".

The group said: "The impairment is primarily due to a weaker macroeconomic and market environment in Europe where apparent steel demand has fallen significantly in 2012-13 by almost 8 per cent which in aggregate results in almost 30 per cent since the emergence of the global financial crisis in 2007."

In February its European business reported a 78 million US dollar ( £51 million) underlying loss for the three months to the end of 2012, with steel deliveries falling to almost 10 per cent to 3.02 million tonnes.

Paul Talbot, from the Community trade union which represents many UK steel workers, said: "These statements are concerning, there's no question about it. They are concerning to the employees who at this moment are still working their way through the last announcement.

"It's no secret that the steel industry has been going through difficult times.

"Time after time we've been given assurances that Tata have to plans to cut back on investment in the UK again in any further restructure or closure of plants."

The 1.6 billion US dollar (£1.05 billion) writedown of Tata's assets and goodwill is thought to be one of the largest ever by an Indian company.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

£45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

Laura Norton: Project Accountant

£50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?