Thousands of job losses expected to be confirmed at Port Talbot steelworks
Unions are expecting confirmation of thousands of job losses at Port Talbot steelworks later today.
The board of steel giant Tata is meeting in India and is expected to make an announcement about the future of the Port Talbot site, the UK’s biggest steel plant.
Thousands of job losses are expected to be cut at the plant under plans to produce steel in a greener way.
The government will give up to £500 million and Tata will spend hundreds of millions of pounds in a development aimed at securing the future of the plant.
Port Talbot has two blast furnaces to produce steel used in everything from cars to cans.
It is the biggest employer in the region, also supporting jobs in companies which supply the plant with goods and services.
A Tata Steel spokesperson said: “We hope to start formal consultation with our employee representatives, shortly. In these discussions we will share more details about our proposals to transition to a decarbonised future for Tata Steel UK.
“We believe our £1.25 billion proposal to transition to green steel making will secure the business for the longer term, bolster UK steel security and help develop a green ecosystem in the region.
“We are committed to meaningful information and consultation process with our trade union partners about these proposals and will carefully consider any proposals put forward.”
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union, said: “The unions do not accept the closure of the heavy end and we continue to believe the blast furnaces are crucial to the transition to green steelmaking.
“We will never accept Tata and the Government’s plan to close down our iron and steelmaking facilities and supply our mills with foreign steel for however many years it takes for them to build an electric arc furnace (EAF).
“Closing down our industry to import dirty steels from abroad, giving our jobs and our order book to competitors overseas, is not a green plan and we will oppose it with everything we’ve got.
“Experts at Syndex have been working tirelessly to review the company’s plans and develop potential alternatives, and we are convinced we can both decarbonise steelmaking and deliver a just transition for the workforce.
“We call on Tata to pull back from the brink and commit to working with the unions and our experts to agree the way forward and head off a major industrial dispute.”
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