Tata announces plans to cut 2,800 steel jobs in shock Welsh town


LONDON (AP) — Indian company Tata Steel announced Friday it will close both blast furnaces at its plant in Port Talbot, Wales, as part of a plan to make its unprofitable U.K. operations leaner and greener, cutting 2,800 jobs. Will end.

Tata plans to use a half-billion pound ($634 million) investment from the British government to switch from coal-fired blast furnaces to electric arc furnaces, which emit less carbon – and require fewer workers.

The company said it would “commence statutory consultation as part of a plan to transform and reorganize its UK business.”

“The plan aims to reverse more than a decade of losses and transition from legacy blast furnaces to a more sustainable, green steel business,” it said.

The company said it expects about 2,800 jobs to be lost over the next 18 months, and 300 jobs are at long-term risk.

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The news is a major blow to Port Talbot, a town of about 35,000 people whose economy has been built on the steel industry since the early 1900s.

Unions have called for a blast furnace to be kept open during the construction of an electric blast furnace, which would mean fewer job cuts. He says that Tata rejected his proposal.

The Unite union said it would “use everything we have in our arsenal” to fight job losses, including possible strikes.

At its peak in the 1960s, the Port Talbot Steelworks employed approximately 20,000 people, before production was affected by cheaper offers from China and other countries. More than 300,000 people worked in Britain’s steel industry in 1971; By 2021 it was around 26,000.

According to research by the House of Commons Library, the steel industry now accounts for 0.1 percent of the British economy and 2.4% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Tata warned in 2022 that its UK operations were at risk unless it got government funding to help it move to less carbon-intensive electric arc furnaces.

Last year, the UK government gave Tata up to 500 million pounds ($634 million) to green its Port Talbot steelworks.

The British government said the investment would “secure a sustainable and competitive future for the UK steel sector.” It said the move to electric furnaces would “transform the site and protect thousands of jobs both in Port Talbot and throughout the supply chain.”

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