Union urges Sunak and Truss to vow action to protect Tata Steel jobs
A campaign to protect thousands of steelworkers’ jobs is being stepped up amid calls for the next prime minister to take urgent action.
The Community union took over all advertisements on the website ConservativeHome, and called on the candidates for the Tory leadership to commit to protecting thousands of jobs at Tata Steel and across the steel sector.
Last week it was reported that Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chair of Tata Group, the owners of the steelworks at Port Talbot, threatened to close operations if the Government does not agree in the next year to provide £1.5 billion of subsidies to help it reduce carbon emissions.
Tata Steel UK employs 8,000 people nationally, including 4,000 at Port Talbot.
Alasdair McDiarmid, operations director at Community, said: “We are extremely disappointed, both in the recent threats from Tata Steel and the lack of action from the Government to support the industry to decarbonise.
“We understand that there’s a lot going on in the Conservative Party at the moment, but this is serious.
“Closures at Tata Steel would be a devastating blow costing thousands of jobs, destroying industrial supply chains, and threatening the future for steel communities across the country.
“Our ability to supply major infrastructure projects, manage our own defence capabilities and meet our climate targets would be damaged beyond repair.
“That’s why we’re asking Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss – are you going to let this happen? Or are you going to stop arguing with each other for five minutes to stand up for your country, its workers, and our economy?”
Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds said: Conservative ministers are too busy tearing themselves apart to actually govern and it is working people who are paying the price.
“Thousands of steelworkers are facing an uncertain future while the Prime Minister fritters his time away on pointless press stunts.
“Labour believes steel has a bright future ahead, that’s why we would invest £3 billion over the next decade to green the steel industry and make it globally competitive.”
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