Tata Steel has confirmed it will be cutting up to 1,000 jobs in the UK as part of the “transformation” of its European business.
The company, which owns the sprawling Port Talbot works in South Wales where it employs more than 8,000 staff, announced earlier this month that 3,000 roles would go across the continent under its plans.
It said on Wednesday that 1,600 of the staff affected would be in the Netherlands.
Most of the jobs lost will be in office-based or management roles, as the firm moves to limit costs at a time of excess supply in the global steel market that continues to depress prices.
The steelworkers’ union, Community, responded by claiming its members were paying the price for management failure.
Henrik Adam, chief executive of Tata Steel in Europe, said: “I’m very proud to see the dedication of everyone in this business, determined to succeed even in the face of a very tough market.
“I also understand and appreciate colleagues’ concerns about these proposals.
“Change creates uncertainty, but we cannot afford to stand still as a company – the world around us is changing fast and we have to adapt.
“Our strategy is to build a strong and stable European business, capable of making significant investments needed for a successful future.”
Tata has said there will be no UK plant closures.
It had announced in September the closure of UK operations with the loss of 400 jobs, blaming a failure to sell off its loss-making Orb Electrical Steels business in Newport.
Tata’s quest to boost profitability follows a European competition ruling that blocked a joint venture with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp in May.
Community general secretary, Roy Rickhuss, claimed the job losses were cuts for the sake of cuts.
He said: “We have consistently called for a vision for the future, which includes plans for investment. Yet again that is lacking.
“We have been presented with short-term plans, which only create worry and uncertainty and do little to inspire confidence.
“It feels like the company is just managing decline and we need a significant change of direction that can inspire the workforce that they have a future.
“This is a consequence of management failure to have a plan B following the collapse of the joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.”
Just weeks ago, Chinese steelmaker Jingye signed a provisional deal to buy rival British Steel after it went into compulsory liquidation in May.
That safeguarded up to 4,000 jobs and could result in a £1.2bn investment in British Steel over the next decade.