Representatives for thousands of car workers at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) are calling for an urgent meeting with Cyrus Mistry, the chairman of the carmaker’s parent company, to seek assurances over the future of the entire Tata UK workforce, Britain’s largest union Unite announced today (Thursday 3 December).
Calling for British made steel to be used in JLR vehicles, Unite representatives have written to the Tata Group’s chairman expressing concern over Tata Steel UK’s future and Tata’s commitment to steelmaking in the UK.
The letter comes against a backdrop of job cuts and closures in Tata Steel UK’s speciality steel and long products division as fears mount over the company’s plans to sell its Scunthorpe plant.
In their letter to Cyrus Mistry, Bob Nason Unite chair of JLR and Ken Smith Unite convenor at JLR Halewood write: “We have watched with increasing concern as the news unfolds that Tata Steel UK intends to dispose of its Scunthorpe plant by March 2016.
“These developments raise concerns for us about Tata’s plans within the UK as whole, as well as the immediate concern for our colleagues in the steel industry who are now facing an uncertain future.
“As automotive workers we know that this industry still relies heavily on steel to manufacture components and vehicles in the UK.”
With JLR using British steel to make Range Rovers at Halewood and steel components in all its models, the convenors state that: “The world’s best steel is produced by UK plants, by our Tata colleagues, and we are proud to use it in a number of the vehicles we produce.
“Therefore we urge you to ensure that this relationship can endure. We are of the view that you should ensure that steel automotive components used by JLR in the UK and the vehicles we make using steel here should use British made steel.
“We appeal to you now to meet with us to discuss your future plans, and to provide assurances towards your intentions towards the entire Tata UK workforce.”
Commenting, Harish Patel Unite national officer for steel and metals said: “The steel made by workers at Tata Steel UK is world class and helps make some of the best cars in world. It is this relationship through the supply chain that has helped JLR become the success it is today.
“As well as urgent action from the government to support our steel industry, we need firm commitments from the Tata Group on steelmaking in the UK.
“Selling the long products division to speculators or walking away from steel producing in the UK will have lasting consequences not just to the Tata Group, but the wider manufacturing supply chain.”
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.