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Hundreds of jobs to go as Tata reorganises

Tata Steel is cutting 900 jobs across the UK as part of a restructuring process prompted by worldwide trading conditions.

Proposed cuts include 500 jobs at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot-based production hub in South Wales following reorganisation of management and administrative functions.

Other changes will concentrate services at six distribution and processing hubs and mean the closure of 12 sites, including Tafarnaubach and Cross Keys in South Wales.

In addition, Tata says shift levels at the company’s Rotherham and Hartlepool operations will be reduced to match production to lower demand for bar products and pipelines.

The proposed changes are expected to lead to a net loss of 900 jobs in the UK, including 580 in South Wales, 155 in Yorkshire, 120 in the West Midlands and 30 in Teesside.

Tata says the company is to restart Blast Furnace 4 at Port Talbot in the first quarter of 2013. It is being rebuilt as part of a £250m investment programme which will also lead to the restarting of the hot strip mill at the company’s Llanwern site in Newport.

Karl Köhler, chef executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “Today’s proposals are part of a strategy to transform ourselves into an ‘all-weather’ steel producer, capable of succeeding in difficult economic conditions.

“These restructuring proposals will help make our business more successful and sustainable, but the job losses are regrettable and I know this will be a difficult and unsettling time for the employees and their families affected.

“We will be working with our trade unions and government at a national and local level to ensure we provide them with as much assistance and support as possible.”

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