Following today’s Steel Tata Task Force meeting in the Senedd, Unite the union in Wales is calling upon Tata to stop stalling and take urgent action to secure a future for the UK’s steel industry.
Andy Richards, Unite Wales secretary commented:
“Unite is deeply concerned that the continued delay in the sale process of Tata’s UK steel operations is eroding the future viability of our Welsh steel industry. The delay, which seems to stem from Tata’s merger talks with Thyssen Krupp is already resulting in valuable skilled workers leaving our Welsh sites and causing more uncertainty for our members and their families across Wales.
"A potential merger also raises big questions as to whether a new European based entity would value UK plants in the same way as its European ones, particularly following the Brexit vote. We have concerns that this potential merger could spell the end of steel making at Port Talbot.
"If the reports are true that Tata only gave the Excalibur bid 20 minutes consideration during a meeting with their representatives then this would not signify that the company are operating as a responsible seller. Excalibur’s bid, which is committed to primary steel making at the site, deserves to be treated with more respect than Tata appear to be giving it.
"The apparent turnaround in Port Talbot's profitability is based upon the rescue plan put together by management and workers at the site. Like all potential buyers the expertise behind this plan which is delivering profit for Port Talbot at present must be taken seriously.
"Unite's primary concern is for our members jobs and the desperate need for a viable future for Tata’s Welsh steel making operations. Welsh Government must do all that it can to ensure Tata lives up to its promise to be a responsible seller.
"We call upon Tata to stop the stalling and end the corrosive uncertainty that we have at present. Engage with us, engage with Government and engage with viable buyers so we can save our steel.”
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