Tata Steel set to cut 2500 jobs across Europe
Tata Steel, India’s largest private sector steelmaker, is likely to cut about 2,500 jobs across its struggling European operations, or a quarter of its European workforce, Dutch media outlet NH Niuews reported. The majority of these jobs are expected to be culled from the steel mills in the Netherlands, the agency reported. The job losses will lead to a cost saving of $930 million for the company, the report added.
To a query from Mint, a spokesperson for Tata Steel said, “like all European steelmakers, Tata Steel Europe continues to experience challenging market conditions, made worse by the use of Europe as a dumping ground for the world’s excess capacity. We launched a transformation programme in Tata Steel Europe in June to strengthen our business. We are aiming to develop a simpler and leaner organisation, capable of sustainably financing high levels of investment which are essential to our long-term success.”
“This programme is gathering pace to urgently improve our performance. Proposals are being developed to improve our supply chain, our manufacturing performance and raw materials usage, as well as efficiency gains through digitalisation. We expect these to include a reduction in our employment costs which would be subject to the full consultation process with employee representatives,” it said.
NH Niuews quoted a memo from Tata Steel Nederland to its employees. The agency reported that the cuts will be across Tata Steel’s Europe plants in the Netherlands, France, England and Belgium, citing Central Works Council’s vice-chairman Gerrit Idema.
The worker unions at the Netherlands plant are expected to protest, given that the plant is profitable.
Tata Steel is in a rush to stabilise operations in Europe after its proposed merger with the steel division of German manufacturing giant Thyssenkrupp was blocked by the European Commission this May. According to the agreements between the two sides signed in June 2018, Tata Steel Europe was to offload close to €2.2 billion of debt on its balance sheet to the combined entity. The JV would have created Europe’s second-largest steel maker after ArcelorMittal by merging the two companies’ operations in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. However, with the JV failing, Tata Steel Europe needs to stabilise operations and yank down operating costs in a soft European steel market to make the business an attractive proposition to a new buyer.