London: British Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday assured the nation that his government is “doing everything it can” to save some 20,000 jobs at Tata Steel but warned there were “no guarantees of success” after India’s steel giant decided to sell its loss-making UK businesses.
The Tata Steel steel plant at Port Talbot in South Wales. Pic/AFP
ameron, who cut short his Easter break in Spain and rushed to London to chair a crisis meeting of the Cabinet following Tata Steel’s decision, said nationalisation was not the answer but the government was “not ruling anything out”.
Cameron said the threat of thousands of job losses was “very difficult” and that his government would do “everything it can” but warned there were “no guarantees of success”.
“This industry is in difficulty right across the world. There’s been a collapse in prices, there’s massive overcapacity,” he told reporters after the cabinet meeting. Tata Steel, which operates the country’s biggest steel plant at Port Talbot in south Wales, is losing 1 million pounds ($1.4 million) a day in its U.K. operations.
A sale or restructuring would likely involve heavy job losses. Tata Steel, one of the flagships of the over $ 100-billion Indian conglomerate Tata Group, said it has decided to “explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts” amid a “deteriorating financial performance of the UK subsidiary in the last 12 months”.
The Board of Tata Steel decided on Tuesday to decide on the future course of action in a bid to steer its embattled operations in Europe out of the rut, which face supply glut, increase in cheap imports from China amidst a continued weakness in demand in the European markets.