Written by: Keith Tully
Published: 30th March 2016
Tata Steel has indicated that it is considering its options with regard to a complete sale of all its assets in the UK, with thousands of jobs put at risk as a result.
A plan to turnaround Tata’s Port Talbot steel plant in Wales in recent days was rejected by directors at the India-based multinational steel giant, with several smaller British plants also facing a very uncertain future.
The Port Talbot plant is the largest steel-producing facility in the country but, with roughly 4,000 people currently employed there, it is understood to be losing in the region of £1 million every day it remains operational.
As many as 15,000 people around the UK could be affected if Tata pulls out of the UK entirely as now appears far from being out of the question.
Statements from the company said that its board recommended an exploration of “all options of restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in part”.
Job losses have been made necessary across much of the UK’s steel industry in recent months as a result of falling prices of steel worldwide, which has been attributed largely to a rise in the available of cheap Chinese imports.
Hundreds of jobs have already gone at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot plant in the past six months and numerous companies operating across the industry were forced into administration towards the end of 2015.
A spokesperson for the leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn has said: “The government must act now to protect the steel industry in Britain. Steel production must be maintained in Port Talbot.”
Representatives of the prime minister David Cameron issued a statement saying: “We are working very closely with the industry to look at ways we can help to deliver a long-term, sustainable future.
“There are already a number of steps that we have taken for the steel industry more broadly. We stand ready to work with Tata.”
Tata Steel has said it will be looking to work closely with the British government to achieve the “best possible outcome for UK business”.