Steel giant Corus is set to axe 290 jobs at one of its plants because of "difficult market conditions" in the tinplate industry, the company has announced.
The cuts, affecting the Trostre works in Llanelli, south Wales, were attacked by trade unions which said prospects for the British steel industry as a whole were improving markedly.
Corus began a formal consultation process over the job losses, which the company said were aimed at making a "sustainable position" of the packaging steels operation in South Wales.
Hugo Loudon, managing director of Corus Packaging Plus (CPP) said: "It is after extensive consideration and with great sadness that we make this announcement.
"CPP has an excellent record of continuous improvement and it is despite the best efforts of our employees that we must take these measures.
"The European tinplate market continues to experience very difficult market conditions due to significant overcapacity. To ensure the longer-term viability of our packaging steels business, we must take action to improve our operating results."
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