Indian-owned steel giant Tata has announced that it is axing 900 jobs across Britain.
The firm said it was closing 12 sites and claimed the job losses, including almost 600 at plants in South Wales, were needed to improve competitiveness.
According to the Daily Mirror, union leaders called the move a "massive blow" and demanded government action to aid the struggling manufacturing industry.
However, Tata Steel also announced that it will re-start one of two blast furnaces at Port Talbot early next year as part of a 250 million pounds investment programme, the report said.
Tata Steel, which employs 19,000 in the UK, said demand for steel in Europe had fallen by 25 percent since 2007 and was expected to drop by a further 10 percent this year.
Karl Kohler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations, said that the latest 'proposals are part of a strategy to transform the firm into an all-weather steel producer, capable of succeeding in difficult economic conditions.'
"These restructuring proposals will help make our business more successful and sustainable, but the job losses are regrettable and I know this will be a difficult and unsettling time for the employees and their families affected," Kohler added. (ANI)