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Tata Steel to cut 500 jobs in UK restructure of Long Products business

Tata Steel has announced it will restructure its Long Products business with the loss of around 500 jobs in the UK.

A “prolonged downturn in the UK market for construction steel” is behind the proposed restructure, Tata Steel said in a statement.

The Scunthorpe-based Long Products Europe business manufactures steel for the construction, shipbuilding, engineering and energy industries.

Tata Steel director of Long Products operations Jon Bolton said: “UK demand for construction steel has fallen further since we launched an improvement programme at our Long Products business in 2011.

“This further market decline means we must now build on the work we have been doing to restore Long Products’ ability to compete throughout the economic cycle,” he added.

Tata Steel expects to cut 340 jobs at its site in Scunthorpe, 90 in Workington and 40 in Teeside. It said the majority of job losses would affect management and administrative functions.

It comes after Tata Steel announced it would cut 900 jobs across the UK in November 2012. The company also closed its Tata Steel Construction Products business in Wales in 2011.

Community steel union general secretary Michael Leahy said he was “very concerned” about the announcement.

He said: “Community is seeking an urgent meeting with the company to get their agreement to extending the consultation period to allow for all alternatives to be explored and also to reiterate Community’s opposition to any compulsory redundancy.”

Tata Steel said it would work closely with trade unions and local and national government to minimise the impact of job cuts. It also said it would achieve job cuts through voluntary redundancies where possible.

North Lincolnshire Council said it will use the £10m Regional Growth Fund to help find opportunities for those left unemployed and will work with Job Centre Plus and local colleges to help workers retrain and find jobs.

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