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Tata to follow SSI with job cuts

Tata Steel could be set to axe 1,200 jobs at its Scunthorpe plant next week, according to a BBC report.

It is thought the multinational steel giant may also make job cuts in Scotland as the crisis in the UK steel industry continues.

Tata would not confirm the job losses, but the news comes in the same week that SSI confirmed the closure of its plant in Redcar, Teesside, where up to 2,200 jobs are set to go.

Although it would not comment on reports of the job cuts, a Tata spokesman said: “We’ve been talking about the challenges we are facing in the UK for many months: surging imports compounded by the strong pound and uncompetitive policy costs.

“We have made a number of structural changes to our UK business over the last months and years to make us more competitive.

“Like all companies, we continue to review the performance of our business.”

The news came on the day the Government hosted a summit for industry leaders to air concerns in the wake of the SSI closure, with business secretary Sajid Javid leading the talks.

After the summit, UK Steel director Gareth Stace said: “We asked the Government to sit down and listen to the needs of the steel industry and take decisive action to support us.

“They have listened and promised to take action. The secretary of state has committed to support the compensation package for energy-intensive industries such as steel, and to ensure that state aid approval is secured as soon as possible.

“While it may have been too much to expect immediate decisions, we are cautiously optimistic that the urgent recommendations we have made – from compensation to cut the cost of energy to tackling unfair dumping of steel by China – are all now at the top of the secretary of state’s to-do list.

“But I cannot emphasise enough that there is an urgency here and very little time before we start to see more job losses and companies facing intolerable pressure. This really is about saving Britain’s steel industry and time is of the essence.”

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