Sale of multiple European plants to global industrial firm based in Switzerland puts 6,000 UK jobs at risk

A Tata Steel plant

Six thousand UK jobs are under threat after Tata Steel agreed to sell its European plants to Geneva-based firm Klesch Group.

The Indian multinational has signed an agreement with Klesch Group to sell its Long Products division, which includes a number of plants across Europe and employs 6,000 people in the UK.

The sites which are affected in the sell off include Tata Steel’s Scunthorpe steelworks, a plant in Teeside, Dalzell and Clydebridge in Scotland as well as a workshop in Workington. Other operations in Europe include smaller sites in France and Germany.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel’s European operations, said the firm would “engage with our employees and other stakeholders throughout this process, and we will consult with the trade union representatives and works councils” over the sale.

He added: “We have decided to concentrate our resources mainly on our strip products activities, where we have greater cross-European production and technological synergies.

“We want to build a sustainable business in the UK and further develop our mainland Europe business and we are committed to providing the necessary leadership and financial resources to achieve that.”

Unions Community, Unite and the GMB issued a joint statement, which said: “Tata Steel has failed to consult at all with the trade unions before making this move, which could have serious consequences for employees and contractors right across Tata Steel, not just within the Long Products business that it wants to sell.”