Recently, N Chandrasekharan, chairman, Tata Group, had clearly conveyed to the media that it would be impossible for Tata Steel India to keep covering up for the heavy losses being incurred by the Group’s steelworks in the UK. His statement that the steelworks in the UK need to be self-sustaining has kind of caused the workers there to feel insecure and uncertain about their future. They have been seeking job security, saying that the employees of Tata Steel UK cannot suffer or pay for the failure of the Company.
The National Trade Union Steel Coordinating Committee, including officials from the GMB union, Unite and Community, have conveyed their disappointment at the way the Group has failed to give them assurance. According to them, Tata Steel UK’s challenges have resulted from lack of investments in assets. The workers’ unions have expressed their willingness to be part of joint discussions to come up with ways to sustain the business.
However, they are also demanding a commitment in terms of job security and strategic capital expenditure so that the future of steelmaking in the UK is protected.
The Group has been trying to focus on ensuring sustainability of the European steel business, for which there is an immediate and urgent need to improve profits. Only then can there be a possibility to make the necessary investments to secure the future of the business in the longer term.
To make this happen, the focus will have to be on improving productivity, cutting down on bureaucracy, reducing employee costs, and enhancing the sales, especially of steels of high value.