LONDON: Indian giant Tata Steel on Wednesday put its British business up for sale, sparking calls for the government to intervene and safeguard thousands of jobs in the crisis-hit industry.
Tata said in a statement that trading had “rapidly deteriorated” in Britain and Europe, adding it will “explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts”.
The company blamed chronic global oversupply of steel, a “significant increase” in cheaper imports into Europe particularly from China and plunging prices in recent times.
Tata is also battling high costs, currency volatility and weak global demand for steel, which is mostly used in construction.
“These factors are likely to continue into the future and have significantly impacted the long term competitive position of the UK operations,” the group added in a statement issued in Mumbai.
Management of its European division Tata Steel Europe will now evaluate and implement the most feasible option for its British operations.
The group employs around 15,000 staff in Britain, including the country’s biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in Wales.
PARLIAMENT RECALL? Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a meeting of key ministers early Thursday, according to his office, but has resisted calls from opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to recall parliament from its Easter holiday to address the threat to jobs.
“The news that Tata is preparing to pull out of steel-making in Britain puts thousands of jobs across the country and a strategic UK-wide industry at risk,” Corbyn wrote in a letter to Cameron.
“MPs must have the chance now to debate the future of steel and hold ministers to account for their failure to intervene,” said the leader, who visited Port Talbot on Wednesday.
His party has called for the government to intervene, possibly by taking a public stake in the industry to avert a collapse.
Courtesy : Dawn News