British Steel considering cutting hundreds of jobs due to rising energy costs

Up to 800 jobs could reportedly be cut by the steel manufacturer in a drive to minimise business costs amid the energy crisis

Big Zero Report 2022

British Steel is reportedly looking to cut up to 800 jobs at its steelworks in Scunthorpe.

The news follows a reported government plan to inject £300 million into the company to keep it afloat. 

Company executives told union leaders they were considering closing coke ovens to reduce business costs across its operations.

Sharon Graham, General Secretary of Unite the Union, said: “This proposal is down to a greedy employer and a shambolic government.

“If this plan is allowed to go ahead it will throw the future of steel making in this country into grave doubt.”

A British Steel spokesman told ELN: “To make sure we can deliver the steel Britain requires, we’re undergoing the biggest transformation in our 130-year history.

“To support the journey to net zero, our owners, Jingye, have invested £330 million in capital projects during their first three years of ownership and they continue to invest unprecedented sums of money in British Steel.”

The company said it facing “significant challenges” because of high energy prices and rising inflation.

It said: “For example, last year our energy bill rose by £120 million while we’ve also faced an increase of over £70 million in our annual carbon costs.

“Our energy costs, carbon costs and labour costs are some of the highest across the world, which are factors that we cannot influence directly.

“Unfortunately, like many other businesses, we are reluctantly having to consider cost cutting in light of the global recession and increased costs.”

A BEIS spokesperson told ELN: “It is very disappointing to hear of potential redundancies at British Steel, especially as the government has offered a generous package of support and is continuing negotiations.

“The government recognises the vital role that steel plays within the UK economy, supporting local jobs and economic growth and is committed to securing a sustainable, decarbonised and competitive future for the UK steel sector.

“The Business Secretary considers the success of the steel sector a priority and continues to work closely with industry to achieve this.”

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