Jaguar car workers urge Tata against steel ‘fire sale’

Jaguar car workers urge Tata against steel ‘fire sale’

05 April 2016

Representatives for thousands of car workers at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) today (Tuesday 5 April) wrote to Cyrus Mistry, the chairman of the carmaker’s parent company, Tata Group demanding the conglomerate acts responsibly by selling Tata Steel UK as a whole entity and allowing time for a credible buyer to be found.

Expressing alarm over reports that the Tata Group is ‘going through the motions’ and was looking to ‘dispose’ of its UK steel operations in a matter of weeks, the Unite representatives warned Mr Mistry against a ‘fire sale’ of its UK steel business, saying it wasn’t the responsible thing to do. 

The letter comes as leaders of Unite, Community and GMB meet with business secretary Sajid Javid this afternoon to demand government action to save our steel ahead of Mr Javid’s meeting with Mr Mistry in Mumbai tomorrow. 

In their letter to Cyrus Mistry, Bob Nason Unite chair of JLR and Ken Smith convenor at JLR Halewood write: “As union reps representing members in Jaguar Land Rover, part of Tata, we are extremely concerned for our brothers and sisters working in the UK steel industry. 

“We are mindful of the assurances that you gave to the UK steel unions that the company would behave in a responsible manner and would sell to a responsible buyer if it had to.

“We are alarmed to read comments in the press that the company is looking to dispose of its UK steel operations within a short period of time.

“This is not something that a responsible employer would seek to do, given any sale and the necessary arrangements and due diligence will take some considerable time.  

“Therefore we would ask you to confirm that Tata will act in a responsible manner in the UK, will allow sufficient time and resources to secure the business through a new buyer, that the whole of the Tata business in the UK is sold ‘as a whole’ and that you make it clear this is the course of action you will follow.”

Unite has nearly half a million members working in manufacturing industries across the UK. Unite is calling on the UK government to intervene to stabilise and secure the UK steel industry through a series of measures. 

These include ministers throwing UK steel a financial lifeline and backing investment to get it through these tough times and creating an even playing field by dropping opposition to European Commission proposals to slap higher tariffs on cheap Chinese steel. 

Unite also wants ministers to taking swift action on sky high energy costs so that UK steelworkers can compete on a level playing field with their European counterparts as well as compelling British steel to be used in British infrastructure and defence projects.


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.