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Steel unions meeting Tata for talks over future of company

18 Jan 2024 2 minute read
Photo Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Unions representing steelworkers will meet industry giant Tata Today (18 January) for talks about the future of the company.

There have been fears of heavy job losses, especially at the plant in Port Talbot, under moves to move to a greener form of steelmaking to cut emissions and stem financial losses.

Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, GMB national officer, said unions had produced a “well thought-out and researched” alternative proposal aimed at saving jobs.

She said: “Our position remains any compulsory job losses are wholly avoidable and the people of South Wales, as well as the industry as a whole, deserve the support and consideration that our plan outlines.”

Jonathan Reynolds, shadow business and trade secretary, said: “The Conservative Government has pushed a plan that uses millions of taxpayers’ money only to make thousands of people redundant and leave us unable to produce primary steel in the UK.

“What the Government offered was never a serious plan for the long term for our steel industry. It is yet another sticking plaster from a Government living crisis to crisis unable to take a long-term view.

“Labour knows that the British steel industry can have a bright future and we have a cast-iron commitment to the steel industry.

“We have earmarked up to £3 billion for investment in green steel alongside industry, working with steel communities to ensure the transition to green steel comes with jobs.

“While the Conservatives scramble around for last-minute deals, Labour will make long-term investments through our industrial strategy to protect British jobs, safeguard our national capabilities and create jobs rather than throw British steelworkers on the scrapheap.”

Joint agreement

A Tata Steel spokesperson said ahead of the meeting: “We have recently announced a joint agreement between Tata Steel and UK Government for a proposal to invest in state-of-the art Electric Arc Furnace steelmaking in Port Talbot.

“We are committed to meaningful information sharing and consultation with our trade union partners about the plan to develop sustainable steelmaking in the UK and to find solutions for concerns they may have.

“While those discussions are ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

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