British steelworkers union Community said on Monday it was meeting with Corus following a report that the Anglo-Dutch group will respond to falling steel demand by cutting 3,500 jobs, including 2,500 in the UK.

We are doing everything we can to protect our members and their jobs, said a spokesman for Community, which represents the majority of the steelworkers employed by Corus in the UK.

A senior industry source close to the company told Reuters an announcement would be made later on Monday. Earlier the BBC reported that Corus, owned by India's Tata Steel (TISC.BO), would announce up to 3,500 job cuts.

Corus, which employs 24,000 people in the UK at sites including Port Talbot in Wales and Scunthorpe, declined to comment on the report.

The number of Britons out of work and claiming benefits rose for an 11th consecutive month in December to just under 1.16 million, the highest in more than 8 years.

The group has already won approval from the Dutch government to cut hours for thousands of Dutch staff for six weeks beginning this month.

Global crude steel production slumped 24.3 percent year on year in the last quarter of 2008 as major firms cut back on output. [ID:nB153082] (Writing by Victoria Bryan, reporting by Humeyra Pamuk and Matt Scuffham; editing by John Stonestreet)© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved