Unite, Britain's biggest union, has accused Tata steel of trying to "sack" its way out of a downturn rather than having a properly thought-out strategy to grow the business.
The company has today (29 October) announced cuts of up to 500 jobs at three steel factories, including Scunthorpe, Teesside and Workington, blaming weak demand in the construction industry.
Unite national officer Paul Reuter said:
"Just last year Tata steel announced 1,000 job cuts and now the company is coming back for more. Tata Steel is trying to sack its way out of a downturn rather than thinking strategically about selling steel and looking at the long-term.
"This is the worst possible news for these workers and their communities as they head into winter and Christmas approaches, particularly as they have made the sacrifices required of them and have been consistently offering the company alternatives.
"So we are urging the leadership of Tata Steel in the UK to look at what steps are needed to grow the company rather than slashing jobs.
"Unite is demanding an urgent meeting with the company to discuss the future. We will be seeking agreement that there will be no compulsory job cuts for any worker affected by the announcement.
"Unite will also urge the company to extend the consultation period beyond the new legal minimum of 45 days imposed by the Tories which now makes it much harder for unions and businesses to seek alternatives to redundancies."
The Indian-based group employs more than half its 33,000-strong European workforce in Britain.
Contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.