Commenting on the conclusion of the meeting in Mumbai between Tata representatives and business minister Sajid Javid, where the upcoming sale of Tata’s UK steel interests was discussed, Harish Patel, Unite national officer for metals and steel, said:
“This is an agonising time for these workers and their communities so we look forward to a fuller debrief on the next stages from the minister on his return. Our members are sure to have questions on the details and the next steps.
“Tata has made it clear that they want to make this process as swift as possible, and while we welcome their commitment to act as a responsible seller, we now need to focus on how this industry is safeguarded for the future.
“We are extremely concerned that this uncertainty will have wider ramifications. We also want to discuss the supply chain implications, where Unite has thousands of members who also face an uncertain future, so we will be seeking further urgent discussions with the minister on his return.”
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 government investment to help the sector through these tough times and the UK government dropping opposition to European Commission proposals to place higher tariffs on cheap Chinese steel.
The union also wants ministers to take swift action on energy costs so that UK steelworkers can compete on a level playing field with their European counterparts, and to compel 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 or Pauline Doyle on 07976 832 861.
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.