Aberavon AM David Rees demands answers on the future of Port Talbot steel works.

Following a mix of recent media reports relating to the on-going discussions of a joint venture between Tata Steel and ThyssenKrupp, Aberavon’s Assembly Member, David Rees, has written to Mr Bimlendra Jha, CEO of Tata Steel UK, seeking an urgent meeting with him on the future of the steelworks in Port Talbot.  He has also asked that the Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure, Ken Skates, seek a meeting with Ratan Tata, interim chair of the TATA Board to press the case for Port Talbot and remind him of the dedication of the workforce which has resulted in production levels often surpassing production targets.

Mr Rees has also called on the Welsh Government to be the strong voice of Welsh steel to the UK Government and to present the case for them to act on behalf of steelworkers and our local communities.

David Rees AM said; “2016 started with the devastating news of job losses at Port Talbot followed by the threat of closure of the works together with the devastation this would have on workers, their families and local communities. As 2016 ends, that huge cloud of uncertainty still hangs over our steelworks and it is time that Tata and the UK Government acted to protect UK steel and secure the long term future of steelmaking at Port Talbot, giving clear indications of their intentions.”

He added “I welcome the Welsh Government’s position that any financial support it may provide to TATA, or other parties, will be focused upon a guarantee for the continuation of steelmaking, using two Blast Furnaces, at the works for at least 5 years, as identified by Ken Skates during plenary at the Senedd on Wednesday.  This demonstrates their commitment to our steel industry and I call on others to show the same commitment.”

“Throughout the year, steelworkers and their families have lived through hell, with the threat of losing their livelihoods always present.  They deserve answers to their future and to the security of steelmaking for the years ahead.”