Pain of job losses hits steel town Port Talbot hard

Tata's steelworks at Port Talbot, Wales where most of the job losses will occur. Photo: Chris Ison/PA Wire

Port Talbot is a town built on steel. At its height, 21,000 people worked here.

From bitter experience they know it's an industry vulnerable to global economic swings - and these new losses have hit them hard. I'm here on the day 900 job losses have been announced at the Indian owned steel giant Tata.

500 jobs go here - along with hundreds in the Midlands, Yorkshire and Teeside. Twenty sites will close in restructuring. The problem is clear, the market for steel has dropped 25% as demand slumps across Europe.

I met a blast furnace worker of 41 years experience. He told me of his anger that many overseas rivals have their energy costs subsidised by their governments. Something that doesn't happen here.

Indian owned steel giant Tata says it remains committed to its UK operation - it is investing in a blast furnace here and the restructuring will create some jobs.

In steel towns like this across the country they know all about the pain of job losses but that doesn't make this bad news any easier to bare.