117 jobs lost in Black Country as Tata Steel closes four sites

TATA Steel is to axe 117  jobs in the West Midlands as part of wider cuts which will see 900 workers lose their jobs across the UK.

The firm announced on Friday it is closing four sites in the West Midlands. Its Wombourne, Kingswinford, Dudley and Cradley distribution centres are shutting as part of plans to close 12 sites across the UK.

The company said 53 jobs are to go at Wombourne, 18 from Kingswinford, 36 at Dudley and 82 at Cradley. However, 72 jobs are to be created in Wednesfield.

Karl Kohler, chief executive of the firm’s European operations, said: “These restructuring proposals will help make our business more successful and sustainable, but the job losses are regrettable.

“Today’s proposals are part of a strategy to transform ourselves into an all-weather steel producer, capable of succeeding in difficult economic conditions.”

Tata said demand for steel in Europe had dropped by 25% since 2007 and was forecast to fall by another 10% this year.

The India-based firm said the changes would make it more competitive.

Other job cuts include 600 jobs at plants in south Wales, 155 in Yorkshire and 30 in Teesside.

Tata employs 19,000 people in its UK steel business.