Liberty Steel Group is planning to cut hundreds of jobs in South Yorkshire and South Wales after a review of its UK business in response to "challenging market conditions and a lingering reduction in demand for UK steel products", the company announced.
There will now be a consultation process with unions over a proposal to cut around 280 jobs at its plant in Stocksbridge, South Yorkshire and around 70 in Newport, South Wales.
Liberty Steel UK chief executive Cornelius Louwrens said: “Liberty has taken enormous strides in improving the performance of the steel mills it has acquired over the last six years.
“We’ve re-started mothballed plants and demonstrated a commitment to invest in the UK.
“Unfortunately, the steel industry in the UK is facing challenging conditions and we have made the difficult decision that there is a need to reduce the workforce at a handful of locations, in order to make them sustainable for the long-term.
“It has always been our intention, and always will be, to avoid compulsory redundancies.
“Our commitment to these steelworks, and our ambition for the future of this business, is as strong as ever.”
The firm will offer voluntary redundancy to workers at the affected sites, and has set up a new company, GFG Workforce Solutions, to enable employees hit by the cutback, to remain within the GFG Alliance, a group of companies which includes Liberty.