HARTLEPOOL has escaped a new round of redundancies announced by a steel giant.
Tata Steel’s Long Products business has announced restructuring plans which could lead to almost 500 jobs eventually going.
The proposed changes mainly affect management and administrative roles.
But the Hartlepool steel mills in Brenda Road are not among those affected, Tata Steel officials have confirmed.
About 340 positions could be affected in Scunthorpe, 90 in Workington and 40 in Teesside.
The proposals come amid a prolonged downturn in demand for some of the key products made by the Scunthorpe-based business, including the UK market for construction steel, which is about half of 2007 levels.
Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: “European steel demand this year is expected to be only two-thirds of pre-crisis levels after falls in the past two years.
“On top of the challenging economic conditions, rules covering energy and the environment in Europe and the UK threaten to impose huge additional costs on the steel industry.
“As difficult as the proposed changes are, they are intended to build a stronger future by enabling the Long Products business to compete.”
Michael Leahy, general secretary of community and chairman of the UK Steel unions’ committee said: “We are obviously very concerned to hear this news and are doing all we can to support those affected. We recognise the business has been dealing with a downturn in some of its markets for the past five years.
“Nevertheless, today’s news once again reflects the fragile state of our economy and the lack of any real impetus by government to support our manufacturing base.”