Tata Steel is to axe 110 jobs at Corby - about 15 per cent of the workforce.
The company announced the job losses today as part of a review of its European tubes business operations.
It blames the decision on a prolonged downturn in all European markets for tubes, combined with intense competition.
Tata said it will explore all opportunities to re-deploy employees where practical and to assist those people leaving the business through a range of support services.
Remco Blaauw, managing director of Tata Steel’s European tube business, said: “Our announcement today follows a detailed review of all our European tubes activities. In response to the prolonged downturn in all European markets for tubes, and in the context of intense competition, the measures announced today are designed to bring these sites into a sustainable financial position.
“Our priority is to minimise the impact on our employees, and to assist affected colleagues through a difficult process. Our goal is to secure a sustainable tubes business which will not only weather the current economic storm, but can prosper in the future.”
The union Community blames the job losses on the depressed state of the UK economy and a lack of policy for manufacturing as a contributory factor.
Its general secretary Michael Leahy said: “This is a massive blow for the workforce in Corby who have done everything expected of them to keep the site viable. The impact on the local community and families will be particularly hard. We are arranging an urgent meeting with Tata Steel Tubes to demand assurances there will be no compulsory redundancies and to explore all other options available. We also want a clear commitment from Tata Steel to the long-term security of the site at Corby.”
Rumours have been rife in Corby for almost two weeks that jobs were to be cut and the Evening Telegraph reported workers’ fears for the future of the plant.
At the time the company said no job losses were imminent but said difficult decisions would have to be taken.
Ninety jobs are also to being axed by Tata in the Netherlands.
In the UK a full, formal 90-day consultation process will take place with Trade Unions and employee representatives, and with all affected employees on an individual basis.
This announcement is subject to relevant consultation and approval rights within the Netherlands.