David Rees AM Stands up for Steel.

David Rees AM for Aberavon today stood up for steel in the Senedd and opened the debate in which he called for action to help our Steel Industry. This vitally important debate, co-sponsored by Mike Hedges AM, asked for the Welsh government to do all that it can to support the Steel Industry in Wales and asks that the UK government takes urgent action on a number of areas, including addressing the high energy costs faced by energy intensive Industries, such as Steel, to ensure that Welsh Steel can be competitive in the global market.

Mr Rees, a strong supporter of the Steel Industry, called for the debate in the wake of the job losses seen in the North of England and those, already lost in Llanwern and Port Talbot. In his opening remarks, David Rees noted that the Steel industry is in crisis. High Energy Costs, Environmental taxes, Business Rates, and regulation and the dumping of cheap low quality Chinese Steel and the strong value of the pound is making British Steel expensive. Mr Rees has also called on the UK government to go beyond simply setting up the working groups that were promised following October’s steel summit and to quickly produce the necessary practical actions for governments, industry and key organisations that are needed to support this major industrial sector.  He also urged both governments to ensure that British Steel was able to compete and win British infrastructure contracts, and that British Steel, already used in iconic buildings from Sydney to New York, is used in the UK rather than importing Steel from elsewhere around the world.

The call to save our steel, supported by all the Labour AM’s in the Swansea Bay region, was strongly represented and supported today on the steps of the Senedd where AM’s were joined by Union representatives and Steel Workers from across Wales, ensuring that the voice Standing up for Steel is heard in Cardiff Bay and in Westminster. 

David Rees AM said; “As the constituency Assembly Member for a proud steel town, which has been making steel for a period spanning three centuries, it’s important that we address the challenges facing the steel industry, a major manufacturing sector here in Wales. It was fantastic to be joined by steel workers and union members from Tata Steel Port Talbot today in the Senedd as we stood up for our Steel industry. I will continue to fight for Steel and work alongside other Assembly Members, MP’s, Union’s and Steel workers to ensure that the Welsh Government and the UK Government do everything that they can to ensure that the potential of the Steel Industry in Wales is realised and we are able to maintain our Industrial heritage in Steel.”

“I am pleased that the Welsh government is continuing to hold talks with Tata steel and that it will continue to do so highlighting the importance of steel making and manufacturing in Wales.”

Mike Hedges AM, who co-sponsored the call for the debate alongside David Rees added; “Steel making is in our blood and it is time for the UK government to honour its commitments to the steel industry and reduce energy costs.”