The leader of Unite in Wales, Andy Richards, today (Wednesday 30 March) called for urgent action to save the Welsh steel industry. Pledging to leave no stone unturned in the fight to protect Welsh jobs, he said:
“Last night (Tuesday
, news emerged that following a meeting to review the 'European portfolio' of Tata Steel in Mumbai, the company would
"explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts.
“This is an extremely difficult time for UK workers, particularly for those employed here in Wales. Communities across the country have a proud industrial history and it is shocking that after decades of production, the steel industry is on the verge of extinction.
“We thank the Welsh government for the swift statement regarding the matter and now urge the National Assembly for Wales as well as the UK parliament to reconvene as soon as possible. All parties must come together and plan for a future that has steel manufacturing at the heart of the British economy.
“Welsh workers within the industry make some of the best steel in the world and have worked hard to deliver for Tata, through thick and thin times. They now, alongside their families and the wider community, deserve the respect and support of the company in return.
“Welsh workers will feel a grim sense of betrayal by this decision, because they know that given half a chance, the company can make Port Talbot and sites across the UK profitable and successful.
“We were extremely disappointed to learn that no UK government minister attended the meeting with members of the Tata board in Mumbai. Steelworkers cannot afford the government to keep dithering over intervention in this vital UK industry. Ministers must honour their promises to keep the lights over the UK’s steel communities burning.
“Tata, as well as the UK and Welsh governments, must also do all in their power to have these vital assets handed back to this country in a shape that allows a serious buyer and a future to emerge.
“We have campaigned tirelessly to save our steel alongside our own members and other trade unions. We pledge to continue that fight and leave no stone unturned in our fight for the future of Welsh jobs and the industry as a whole.”
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