Statement on the announcement by Tata of 1000 job losses in the UK

Tonight Tata announced that 1000 of the proposed 3000 job losses across Europe will be in the UK. Once again they have given no detail as to where those job losses would be, how many would be blue collar workers or how many would be white collar workers. This approach to industrial relations is appalling and Tata must provide much more detail when they make such announcements that impact upon their workforce.

Throughout these difficult times for the steel industry the workers in Port Talbot have shown dedication and loyalty to Tata and they deserve the same commitment and loyalty from Tata. Today’s announcement does not meet that target but provides huge uncertainty for steelworkers and their families. Many will now face Christmas with a dark cloud hanging over them.

This announcement makes no reference to the agreement Tata made with the Trade Unions as part of the pensions changes agreed by workers. I call upon Tata to honour their commitment to no compulsory redundancies as part of that MOU and to work with the Trade Unions to deliver the transformation project to create a sustainable, productive steel business.

The Welsh Labour Government has continued to support Tata and the wider steel sector in Wales to help create a sustainable industry that has been, and can continue to be, a foundation stone of the Welsh industrial economy. I have spoken to the First Minister and asked him to seek answers from Tata as to how these job losses will impact Welsh steelworkers and to consider how future support will protect steelworkers’ jobs. I have also asked him to ensure that support mechanisms are in place to help those that will be affected By these job losses.

This Tory UK Government must replicate the commitment shown by Welsh Labour and act in the interests of UK manufacturing to protect our steel industry. They must help reduce costs by tackling the high energy prices faced by UK steel makers compared to their European competitors. They must call a steel council to address the challenges facing our industry and they must meet with devolved Ministers and UK steel to agree a steel sector deal. To date they have failed to protect our steel industry and it is now time for them to act.