Tata Steel has announced around 1,200 job cuts at its plants in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire.

About 900 jobs will go in Scunthorpe and 270 in Lanarkshire, along with a small number at other sites across Europe as part of a restructuring at Tata Steel’s Long Products Europe business.

Plate mills in Scunthorpe, Dalzell and Clydebridge will be mothballed, while one of the two coke ovens at the Scunthorpe steelworks will be closed.

Tata Steel blamed the job losses on “extremely challenging market conditions” with high energy prices, a strong pound, and cheap Chinese steel flooding the market driving prices down.

Karl Koehler, Chief Executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said:

“I realise how distressing this news will be for all those affected. We have looked at all other options before proposing these changes.

“We will work closely with affected employees and their trade union representatives. We will look to redeploy employees, wherever possible, and minimise employee hardship.

“The UK steel industry is struggling for survival in the face of extremely challenging market conditions. This industry has a crucial role to play in rebalancing the UK economy, but we need a fairer system to encourage growth. The European Commission needs to do much more to deal with unfairly traded imports – inaction threatens the future of the entire European steel industry.”

The job cuts at Tata Steel come in the wake of news that Thailand’s SSI is closing down in Redcar and administrators have been appointed to parts of Caparo Industries’ steel operations.

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