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Tata Steel will cut 720 UK jobs

Tata Steel will cut 720 jobs in the UK, it has announced, mainly at its plant in Rotherham in South Yorkshire.

The firm blamed the strong pound and electricity costs which it said were double those in Europe meaning it underperformed in the face of steel imports.

Tata said it had "identified 720 positions which will potentially become redundant" but will work with unions and employees to redeploy workers and minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations, said: "I realise how distressing this news will be for all those affected, but I am also extremely aware of our responsibility towards the ongoing survival of this business, which will continue to employ about 1,500 people in South Yorkshire."

Poll: Should it be more difficult to strike?

Trade unions have reacted furiously to the Government's proposals. Credit: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Trade unions have reacted furiously to new legislation that would tighten rules on strike ballots and political donations.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said the proposals would ensure that strikes only happen "when a clear majority of those entitled to vote have done so and all other possibilities have been explored."

But what do you think? Should it be more difficult to strike?

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Barclays deputy chairman Sir Mike Rake set to leave bank

Credit: PA

The deputy chairman of Barclays Bank is set to leave the bank a week after chief executive Antony Jenkins was fired.

Sir Mike Rake, who has been in the post since 2012, is said to be in talks to become the new chairman of payments firm Worldpay.

ITV News' Business Editor Joel Hills said Sir Mike had "agreed in principle" to the new role "but nothing has been signed".

Chuka Umunna: Strike reforms are a 'gagging bill'

Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has described the government's trade union reform plans as " the latest in a long line of attempts to stifle reasonable democratic scrutiny, protest and challenge".

He said: "The bill tries to drive a false wedge between government, industry, employees and the public by restricting rights – and at worst criminalising – ordinary working people, from midwives to factory workers to challenge low-pay or health and safety concerns.

“After muzzling charities and restricting access to justice this is the latest attempt to silence critics of this government and its policies.”

Yvette Cooper: Strike reform is 'ideologically driven'

Yvette Cooper Credit: PA / PA Wire

Yvette Cooper, one of Labour's leadership candidates, said that the government's plans for trade unions are an "ideologically driven attack on Britain's trade unions" which "puts narrow Tory party interests ahead of what is right for the country".

"It not only undermines years of progress on workers' rights, but it also breaks the growing consensus on the need to reform funding of political parties.

"This is another example of the Tories employing cheap divide-and-rule tactics."

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