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Summary

  1. Tata Steel announces more than 1,000 job losses at sites across the UK
  2. Port Talbot-based site bears brunt of 750 job cuts
  3. Further 100 jobs at steel mills in Trostre in Llanelli and two sites in England to go
  4. Another 200 jobs axed in support functions

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

End of live coverage

That brings an end to our live coverage of the 1,050 job losses at Tata steel.

For a comprehensive roundup of today's announcement click here.

Tata board meeting to be held in India

This restructuring plan from the UK arm of Tata now has to be ratified by the company's board in India. They're expected to discuss it at their next board meeting in Mumbai in mid February

Sarah DickinsBBC Wales Economics Correspondent
Tata steel works in Port Talbot
Getty Images

Welsh government urged to 'take temporary stake' in Tata

Jobs blow 'devastating' for families and communities

Speaking after Ms Sourby, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Angela Eagle, said the announcement was "devastating news for the workers, their families and the close-knit communities who are affected". 

Angela Eagle
PA

Rugby star 'gutted' over job losses

Wales and Gloucester hooker Richard Hibbard, who was born in nearby Neath, paid tribute to the people of Port Talbot.

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'Regret' on further steel job losses

Business Minister Anna Soubry tells the House of Commons: "It is with regret I find myself having to update the house on further job losses in the steel sector."

She said the UK government's focus will be on helping workers back into jobs as soon as possible and supporting the steel industry.

Anna Soubry
BBC

Banner placed outside Port Talbot plant

Ex-steelworker to hand protest letter to Chinese ambassador

Ex-steelworker and Neath Port Talbot councillor John Warman has arrived in London where he intends to give a letter to China's ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, in protest at the "huge amount of cheap steel imports from China". 

He said: "I want him to make a direct appeal to his government. 

"It's a personal appeal to him, man to man, about the effect it is having on the community. They're almost giving the steel away. 

"The steel works are the backbone of the economy in this part of Wales.    

"Everybody knows someone who works there or has a connection with the plant. It's the life-blood of the community."

John Warman
BBC

Cameron wants 'strong British steel industry'

What next for the steel industry?

A site of 'critical importance'

Gareth Stace, director of trade body UK Steel, said: "This is deeply disappointing news and I am very concerned about the future of the plant and community. This is a site of critical importance to our national industrial infrastructure."

Gareth Stace
BBC

Tata 'can't guarantee anything'

'Some optimism' that steel production has a future in Wales

'No interest' in government stake

Challenges the Welsh steel industry faced then and now

UK government 'will do everything' it can, says Prime Minister David Cameron

Speaking on a visit to a mosque in Yorkshire, David Cameron said: "This is obviously sad news about the job losses at Port Talbot and elsewhere. We'll work very closely with the company, with the local communities to do everything we can, to get people the training and the assistance they need. And we'll continue to help the steel industry.

"There is obviously this worldwide glut of overproduction of steel that's affecting countries right around the world but the steel industry has asked us for action on energy prices and we've taken that. They've asked us for action on procuring more British steel - we've taken action on that. They want us to take action within the European Union and we've done that as well but we'll continue to work with them.

"I want to have a strong British steel industry at the heart of our important manufacturing base."

GMB union spokesman calls announcement 'heartbreaking news'

Dave Hulse from the GMB union, said: "Once again this is more heartbreaking news for the steel industry and our members. Once again this demonstrates that this government is asleep when it comes to the serious problems that we are facing."

Wider impact of job losses

From BBC Wales reporter Ben Price in Port Talbot

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Analysis from Mumbai

Simon Atkinson from BBC News in Mumbai says steel is one of India's biggest businesses - but has similar problems to those in Wales.

"Tata is India’s biggest conglomerate, involved in everything from cars to hotels, tea to telecoms, salt to airlines.

"Steel though is one of its biggest businesses. A city built around it more than a century ago is now home to about 800,000 people.

"Today Tata Steel has operations in 26 countries. But in nearly all of those markets it is struggling. And the problems it has in Wales – including the falling steel price, sluggish global demand and the influx of cut-price Chinese steel exacerbating oversupply – are also ones it has to grapple with here in India.

"Just last week a ratings agency downgraded Tata Steel’s Indian business  – because of its slowing of cash flow and plummeting profit.

"Tata’s management here in Mumbai is in damage limitation mode – and is trying to offload part of its European operations.

"Cutting jobs – making operations cheaper – might just make that a more attractive business to sell."

Losses in Llanelli

Tata has confirmed that 15 jobs will be cut at Trostre

'Seeking clarity'

Newport East MP Jessica Morden said that she was "seeking clarity on the impact for our community" as figures for specific job losses in Llanwern have not been announced by Tata

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'Intellectually lazy'

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb has described the idea of government taking a stake in Tata as "intellectually lazy".

Plaid Cymru has called for the Welsh government to consider taking a temporary stake. But Mr Crabb said the government does not have the expertise to help the company return to profit.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he was not sure what would be achieved by buying a stake.

Stephen Crabb
BBC

Look at all options, says Plaid

Plaid Cymru economy spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth called on the Welsh government to "look with urgency at all options" to support the steel industry, including taking a temporary stake in Tata Steel to safeguard the remaining jobs.

"There is a bright future for steel in Wales, but urgent help is needed to get us through these difficult times," he said.

Salaries

Lib Dems' warning on well-paid jobs

For the Welsh Liberal Democrats, South Wales West AM Peter Black said: "These are well-paid jobs and will prove difficult to replace."

"If the two governments do not act quickly and decisively together to start to put things right then I fear that there may well be more job losses," he added.

'Price of steel the problem'

Anna Soubry, the UK government's Business Minister, said: “Even if we were to abolish business rates that would not solve the problems of Britain’s steel industry.

"Over-production in the world and under-consumption means the price of steel, like slab steel, has halved.

“We can ameliorate that and create a level playing field, but it’s the price of steel that’s fundamentally the problem. No government can solve that.”

Anna Soubry
BBC

First minister's action call

Council's reaction

A Neath Port Talbot council spokesman said: "Whilst not without warning, this news is no less devastating for the town of Port Talbot and the county borough. 

"The steelworks makes a significant contribution, both directly and indirectly, to the economy of the region, and as such Neath Port Talbot council will work with Tata, the Welsh government and the UK government to do the best we can for the people affected by this announcement."

Neath Port Talbot council
Google

Steel industry in Wales

A look in pictures at the Welsh steel industry through the years

Ebbw Vale Steelworks in 1937
BBC
The construction of the Hot Mill at the Ebbw Vale Steelworks in 1937
Port Talbot steelworks
Ben Salter
The Port Talbot site is capable of producing nearly 5 million tonnes of steel slab per year

Erosion in demand

Alistair Ramsay from Metal Bulletin Research, told BBC News there was an erosion in global demand for steel last year - although China still managed to export 20 million tonnes. This had increased competition.

He said: "In some countries there's been a very aggressive blockading programme being put in place like in the US where a tonne of coated steel - the most popular material coming from China going to the US - gets charged three times more than its value on entry, making it redundant in the US."

'Tough actions'

Tata Steel has issued a statement following today's announcement.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “I know this news will be unsettling for all those affected, but these tough actions are critical in the face of extremely difficult market conditions which are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.  

"We need the European Commission to accelerate its response to unfairly traded imports and increase the robustness of its actions. Not doing so threatens the future of the entire European steel industry.

"And while we welcome progress on UK energy costs, the (UK) government must take urgent action to increase the competitiveness of the UK for its vital steel sector.

"This includes lowering business rates and supporting energy efficiency and anti-dumping cases so we can compete fairly."

What is Tata Steel?

  • It employs more than 80,000 people worldwide.
  • It is part of the wider Tata Group, an Indian conglomerate.
  • Founded more than 100 years ago, it operates in 26 countries.
  • The steel it produces is used to make products from cars to office furniture and battery cases.  
  • It had a revenue of about £15bn last year.
  • Tata became Europe's second largest steel producer after it bought Corus, formerly British Steel, for £8bn in 2007.
Tata Steel sign
Wales News Service

Price of steel

Steel prices have fallen over six years

Graph showing steel prices between 2009 and 2015
BBC

Aerial view

'Ghost town' fears

BBC Wales reporter Ben Price has spoken to people in the community

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'Essential' to the town

UK government will 'work with Tata'

Welsh Secretary Stephen Crabb said: "The UK government will keep doing what it can to support a steel industry suffering intense pressures from cheap steel imports and a global slump in prices.

"That involves working with Tata to ensure they remain a significant presence in south Wales."

First minister questioned

Banner pulled down

BBC Wales reporter Dafydd Morgan says security officers have pulled down a union banner erected at the steelworks site. Union says it will go back up.

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