Tata Steel needs to give firm commitments to long-term steelmaking in the UK, Unite, Britain’s largest union, said today (Thursday 4 February), as it responded to the steelmaker’s third quarter results.
The quarterly results released to the Indian stock exchange showed steelmaking in the UK has a future if the British government takes swift and decisive action to support industry said Unite, as it urged Tata Steel to guarantee that its planned 30 new products will be made it the UK.
Repeating its call for the UK government to take urgent action to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, Unite warned ministers they were turning their backs on the steel industry by failing to turn guidance on procurement for infrastructure projects into orders.
Over the past few weeks it’s emerged that the government is shunning British steel for new warships being built for the Royal Navy, while nearly half the steel for Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation will be imported.
Tata Steel posted an EBITDA loss of £68 million for last quarter (1 October to 31 December 2015) for its European operations compared to a positive of £132 million for the same period in 2014.
Turnover for the last quarter was £1.64 billion compared to a turnover of £1.98 billion for the same period in 2014. According to the latest figures Tata Steel’s European operations account for 57 per cent of the whole of the Tata Steel group’s turnover.
EBITDA is an indicator of a company's financial performance which is calculated using a company's net earnings, before interest expenses, taxes, depreciation and amortization are subtracted.
Commenting Unite national officer Harish Patel said: “Tata Steel needs to give firm guarantees over its commitment to steelmaking in the UK to restore faith and quell uncertainty amongst a workforce which has been battered by job losses.
“The workforce have worked through challenging times, but are increasingly losing patience with Tata Steel’s management. Tata Steel needs to guarantee that its planned new products are made in the UK. The workforce takes pride in making some of the best steel in the world and deserves an assurance that there is a future and light at the end of the tunnel.
“The government needs to play its part too. Steelmaking can be profitable and successful in the UK, but only if ministers are serious about saving a vital component of the UK economy.
“We need action on the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, but equally the government needs to end the insulting farce of British steel being shunned in major infrastructure projects. If it’s built for Britain, then it should be build using British steel.”
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.