Indian steel giant Tata is to cut 500 jobs in the UK, it has announced.
The company blames low building rates in Britain since the recession.
340 jobs could be cut in Scunthorpe, 90 in Workington and 40 in Teesside, and are expected to affect managers and administrators rather than steelworkers.
Tata Steel's European Chief Executive, Karl Koehler said: "European steel demand this year is expected to be only two-thirds of pre-crisis levels after falls in the past two years.
"On top of the challenging economic conditions, rules covering energy and the environment in Europe and the UK threaten to impose huge additional costs on the steel industry."
The company will work with unions to try to soften the impact of redundancies, including the Community Union, whose General Secretary Michael Leahy said: "We recognise the business has been dealing with a downturn in some of its markets for the past five years.
"Nevertheless, this news once again reflects the fragile state of our economy and the lack of any real impetus by government to support our manufacturing base.
"Community is seeking an urgent meeting with the company to get their agreement to extending the consultation period to allow for all alternatives to be explored and also to reiterate Community's opposition to any compulsory redundancy."
Tata has previously blamed poor performance in Europe for losses in the company.