Tata Steel has been urged to have an urgent rethink about cost-cutting proposals that could see up to 3,000 jobs lost across Europe.
Unite said it was not prepared to stand by and let possible job losses to go ahead at the Port Talbot plant in Wales and at other sites across the UK which employ a total of about 8,500 workers.
Unite’s stance follows a meeting yesterday (27 November) of the European Works Council (EWC) of Tata Steel Europe (TSE) with the Executive Committee (ExCo) of TSE.
The main topic on the agenda was the transformation programme announced by Tata Steel, following the collapse of the joint venture discussions with ThyssenKrupp.
Unite officer with national responsibility for Tata Steel, Tony Brady, said: “We are very unhappy about the company’s plans which seem hell-bent on cost cutting, making staff redundant, and possibly selling off parts of the business and outsourcing work to India.
“We appreciate that the UK industry faces unique challenges, such as the high energy costs compared with its European competitors, but we will not stand by and let one of the cornerstones of British industry be taken apart piece by piece.
“The figure of 3,000 job losses across Europe has been subject to media speculation, but we don’t believe that job cuts are the answer – what top executives need to examine is reversing years of underinvestment.
“Unite is supporting the European Works Council in demanding that the company reconsider its plans and come back with a robust and comprehensive set of proposals that can be discussed in a constructive manner.
“Unite is keen to work closely with Tata Steel for the benefit of the workers, customers and those in the supply chain, as well as the health of the British economy generally in these challenging times.”