About 15,000 jobs are at risk at Tata Steel U.K. after its Indian parent, Tata Steel, put the business up for sale. There are a further 25,000 jobs in the supply chain in jeopardy, as well.
Sources told the London Guardian that Tata is looking to resolve the future of its U.K. plants and workers within weeks, rather than months, as it emerged that billions of dollars are needed to even make it viable.
A senior source close to Tata told the Guardian that the U.K. business’ main steel mill at Port Talbot, Wales — and the overall U.K. business — are losing significantly more than £1 million ($1.4 million) every day.
Can’t Give it Away
The financial problems are so significant that Tata is ready to give the business away for nothing, the Guardian’s source said. Sorry, no takers.
Tata has supposedly been trying to find a buyer for the U.K. steel division for 18 months and there were no candidates willing to make a deal because billions of dollars would be needed just to get the business back on track.
We have previously written about the structural problems facing the U.K. steel industry, such as stifling green regulations and a flood of foreign imports that the government has not aggressively fought against.
Another U.K. Steel Crisis
So, this isn’t the first time that a U.K. steel company has faced the prospect of extinction and the only path to viability is, likely, a government-aided buyout. The Cameron government is already considering options for either helping a private company to purchase the business or to, perhaps, even buy it outright with tax dollars simply to preserve the jobs.
Prime Minister David Cameron spoke to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday and “agreed it was an extremely worrying time for the workers and wider community in Port Talbot, and South Wales more broadly,” according to a spokesperson..
The UK and Welsh governments would work “to do everything possible to secure the future of steel making at Port Talbot and elsewhere in the UK”, and the governments will “support a sales process” and “remain in close contact in the days ahead,” the spokesperson added.
Not the first time we’ve heard such assurances.