No local job losses at steel company

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No jobs will be lost locally following the announcement byTata Steel that 1,200 jobs are to go in England and Scotland.

Ulster Unionist Councillor Alexander Redpath, said he welcomed the news.

The job losses are the latest across the UK steel sector, following news that administrators have been appointed to parts of Caparo Industries’ steel operations.

The industry blames cheap Chinese imports for a collapse in steel prices.

Mr Redpath said, “The UK steel industry is facing a major crisis. Steel manufacturing is a major employer in my district and we have several operational steel plants. I am unaware of any threats to jobs in Lagan Valley.

“The government needs to take urgent action to support the UK steel industry before more job losses are announced.

“One of the chief drivers behind this recent crisis is the influx of cheap state-subsidised Chinese steel onto the UK market.

“The UK is currently hosting a state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping there is no better time to press the Chinese government to stop dumping products onto the market that benefit from unfair state subsidies. This is the chief short term factor that could grand a reprieve to the industry.

“In the longer term the European Union’s restrictive rules on state aid need to be addressed.

“The Prime Minister is currently renegotiating the terms of our EU membership top of his agenda should be relaxing the EUs strict trade rules which stop s competing on the world markets.” Mr. Redpath said more efforts need to be made to reduce the cost of energy to manufacturers.

A spokesperson for Tata said job losses would have ‘no effect’ locally as they were ‘different parts of the business.’