Roy Rickhuss, who chairs the trade unions steel committee, made up of Community, Unite and the GMB, said: "We recognise the company has been dealing with a long-term downturn in European steel markets for more than five years. However, we have also expressed our own concerns about possible undermanning within Strip Products and in Port Talbot in particular.
"Therefore, it is vital that this is not just an exercise to just reduce costs by cutting jobs but takes a considered and objective view as to the numbers required to run and maintain the plant to make steel safely and productively.
"This news also demonstrates that despite the Government's trumpeting of economic recovery, the steel sector remains under real pressure. This sector, vital for so much of British manufacturing, must be an area of real focus for the UK's industrial policy.
"We will be seeking an urgent meeting with the company to discuss our concerns about manning levels and reiterate our opposition to any compulsory redundancies."