Tata Steel: 117 West Midlands jobs cut as four sites close

Tata distribution hub in Cradley The firm said the changes would make it more competitive

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Steel company Tata has announced it is closing four sites and cutting 117 jobs in the West Midlands.

Tata said its Wombourne, Kingswinford, Dudley and Cradley distribution centres are shutting as part of plans to close 12 sites and cut 900 jobs in the UK.

The India-based firm said the changes would make it more competitive.

The company said 53 jobs are to go at Wombourne, 18 from Kingswinford, 36 at Dudley and 82 at Cradley. Seventy-two jobs are to be created in Wednesfield.

Tata employs 19,000 people in its UK steel business.

'Regrettable losses'

Other job cuts include 600 jobs at plants in south Wales, 155 in Yorkshire and 30 in Teesside.

Tata said demand for steel in Europe had dropped by 25% since 2007 and was forecast to fall by another 10% this year.

Karl Kohler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations, said: "These restructuring proposals will help make our business more successful and sustainable, but the job losses are regrettable.

"I know this will be a difficult and unsettling time for the employees and their families affected.

"We will do everything we can to reduce the impact of the proposals on employees and, where possible, we will look to achieve job losses through voluntary redundancies."

'Loyal'

Terry Pye, national operations officer for the union Community, said: "Obviously we are shocked and we hugely disappointed and angry."

He said Community members who were affected by the changes had been "loyal" employees of Corus, which was taken over by Tata Steel in 2007.

"They contributed in the days when Corus was very, very profitable," he said.

"It's a blow and it's a further blow to jobs in the West Midlands."

Mr Pye said he hoped some workers would be given jobs in other parts of the company, adding the union would be talking to its members as quickly as possible as well as to Tata.

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