FEARS over the future of UK steel jobs have been raised after India's Tata Steel wiped £1bn from the value of its European operations.
The group, which has UK operations at sites including Port Talbot, Rotherham and Scunthorpe, blamed the tough economy in Europe where steel demand has slumped by about a third since the start of the financial crisis.
Unions said the huge writedown will worry its 18,500 staff in the UK who are still reeling from 900 job cuts last year.
Tataemploys more than half its 33,000-strong European workforce in the UK.
Tata warned tough conditions are likely to persist for the "near and medium-term".
Paul Talbot, from the Community trade union which represents many UK steel workers, said: "These statements are concerning, there's no question about it. They are concerning to the employees who at this moment are still working their way through the last announcement."