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Labour calls for job support guarantee for Port Talbot steel workers

21 May 2024 3 minute read
Jo Stevens. Photo Richard Townshend/UK Parliament

Labour is calling for a job support and training guarantee to cover workers facing redundancy from the Port Talbot steel plant.

Tata is planning to shut down blast furnaces at the site and switch to making steel with an electric arc furnace, a greener method of production, but which needs fewer workers.

Shadow Welsh secretary Jo Stevens has demanded that the Government act faster to get support in place for workers and communities.

Employment advisers

Labour has called for dedicated employment advisers to be placed in the community to co-ordinate and deliver support for those affected.

The party has committed to invest up to an additional £2.5 billion – on top of the Government’s planned £500 million – in the UK steel industry during the next parliament if it wins the general election.

Ms Stevens said: “Thousands of jobs are at risk in Port Talbot and steel communities across south Wales because Conservative ministers have failed to act, with devastating economic shock waves that will reverberate for decades. The Welsh Secretary’s Transition Board looks more like a talking shop.

“Our steel fund will ensure the future of the industry will be fuelled by the skills, talent and ambition of Welsh steelworkers and we have repeatedly said no irreversible decisions should be made before a general election.

“Labour doesn’t want to see a single job go at the site, but Conservative ministers must up their game and prepare at much greater speed to protect workers and communities.”

‘Generous’

Tata said thousands more jobs would be lost if it did not change the way it produced steel, adding that it had made its most generous ever offer of financial and job support to those affected.

Unions are threatening industrial action over the plans.

Community assistant general secretary Alasdair McDiarmid said: “It’s vital that all steelworkers affected by Tata’s damaging plans get timely access to training and job search support, and the Labour Party is right to press the company and Government ministers on this.

“We are clear that this offer should be accompanied by an employment guarantee which ensures that those impacted receive wage support right up until they re-enter employment. We believe this would be the best use of the transition board’s considerable resources.”

Welsh Secretary David TC Davies said: “This is clearly a distraction from the First Minister’s donation debacle.

“It’s staggering that the Labour Welsh Government still hasn’t offered a penny to the transition board, but can find over £100 million for more politicians in the Senedd. It’s the same old Labour tactic – say one thing but do another.

“With the UK Government providing £500 million towards the plant to secure a sustainable future, as well as £80 million for a transition board, only the Conservatives have a plan to secure steel here in the UK.”

A UK Government source added: “it’s bizarre that Jo Stevens is criticising the transition board when many of her own side – including Neil Kinnock – sit on it. The transition board cannot yet offer training release funding because no redundancies have been made , but it does stand ready once TATA has finalised its proposals.”


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Jeff
Jeff
13 days ago

Don’t worry, Mel Stride said yesterday that people looking for jobs can get a crash course in boot camps for new training, say HGV, brain surgery or care homes or running nuclear power stations. He was very up beat for it doing the media rounds. Don’t want any on them foreigner’s the Conservatives hate he said so we will train up all the unemployed whether they like the job they are forced into or not.

Hows Rishi pay rise this tear, £122mil for doing nothing, not bad.

Adrian Bamford
Adrian Bamford
13 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

.and of course all those wonderful green jobs will be along any time now.

Jeff
Jeff
13 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Bamford

Mel Stride was setting out what will happen yesterday and it is not good, I expect it to be applied here, past any meddling for votes.

Adrian Bamford
Adrian Bamford
13 days ago

Labour has been telling us for years that net zero is a great idea because there’ll be plenty of ‘green’ jobs. Critics have said this is nonsense and that net zero, apart from achieving nothing with regard to the climate, will result in economic suicide. With Port Talbot in mind it’s pretty clear who’s right and who’s wrong.

Gareth
Gareth
13 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Bamford

Well, EU countries, Germany France The Netherlands and Poland are all transitioning their steel industries, without major job losses, how are they able to do it, but we are not. Maybe it’s that their gov are investing major amounts of cash, to protect jobs and steel making in their countries, while the UK Gov does not care, just like the water industry.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
13 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Bamford

Get real. Tata couldn’t care less aboutnet zero….they simply want to move steelmaking to India, so they can make more money. Very UN-environmental. Not hard to understand, is it butt?

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
13 days ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

I agree. All this money the company is getting and I would not be surprised at all if there’s no plant there at all in 5 years time. Don’t trust Tata one bit. The employees there would be better off starting to retrain in different jobs now if possible.

T3DSK1
T3DSK1
13 days ago

Selling U.K. by the pound Riki Tikki isn’t worried probably got shares in in Tata.
Think I’ll boycott the teabags.
GovUK looking after the gat cats

David
David
11 days ago

Has anyone thought that TATA is only getting its own back for the exploitation of India by the British Empire.

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