TATA Steel, which runs Newport's Orb plant, as well as a facility in Llanwern, has announced it is to cut up to 3,000 staff across its European operations.

The steelmaker, which announced in September it plans to close the Orb steelworks next month, with the loss of 280 jobs, said the job cuts were necessary "to ensure the business can thrive despite severe market headwinds which have led to a sharp decline in profitability".

The news comes as the Argus battles to save the Orb plant - with hundreds having already signed our petition calling on the UK Government to step in to secure the future of the facility.


Help us save Newport's Orb steelworks - sign our petition

A glimmer of hope for Newport's closure-threatened Orb Electrical Steels?

Union believes campaign to save Orb has ‘strong case’

Several hundreds of people have already signed a petition from the South Wales Argus, calling for the UK Government to work with Tata Steel and to invest in the Orb plant.

Click here to download the petition: South Wales Argus Orb Petition.pdf

Print it out, sign it, get your friends and family to sign it, and drop it into the Argus office in Cardiff Road, Maesglas, Newport, NP20 3QN.

The company says two-thirds of the jobs will be in office-based roles, while it will also cut costs by "increasing sales of higher-value steels", as well as by cutting its procurement costs and increasing efficiency.

Henrik Adam, chief executive of Tata Steel in Europe, said: “Today we are highlighting important proposals towards building a financially strong and sustainable European business.

"We plan to change how we work together to enable better cooperation and faster decision-making.

"This will help us become self-sustaining and cash positive in the face of unprecedented severe market conditions, enabling us to lead the way towards a carbon-neutral future.”

South Wales Argus:

The Orb facility in Newport

The company has said it hopes the plans will mean it can achieve a profit by the end of the 2020-2021 financial year.

The Welsh Government's economy minister Ken Skates said he was seeking an "urgent" meeting with Tata to discuss the news.

“Today’s news is very disappointing and reflects the extremely challenging environment faced by steel producers across Europe, but particularly in the UK, where energy prices are much higher," he said. "At this very worrying time for Tata Steel employees and their families, we will do everything in our power to support them.

South Wales Argus:

Tata Steel's plant in Llanwern

“The Welsh Government has been a steadfast supporter of the steel industry and has worked closely with Tata over a number of years. It’s time the UK Government did the same and, once again, I call on them to take immediate action to safeguard steel jobs and invest in the future of the industry in Wales.

“It can begin by delivering a Steel Sector Deal, by reducing uncompetitive energy costs and by convening a UK Steel Council meeting urgently.”