Any sale by Tata Steel of its steel packaging plants must be done responsibly and in full consultation with trade unions Unite said today (February 12).
The call follows reports that the European Commission will this week order Tata Steel to sell some of its packaging operations to satisfy competition concerns arising from the steel maker’s proposed joint venture with ThyssenKrupp.
The joint venture, announced in June last year, is the biggest shake-up in Europe’s steel industry in more than a decade with the European Commission set to make a final decision on the transaction by April 29. The new entity will have around 48,000 workers.
Tata Steel has two steel packaging plants in Trostre, Wales and Duffel in Belgium which employ over 1,000 workers combined making food and aerosol cans.
“We are aware that the European Commission is likely to order Tata Steel to sell some of its packaging operations so that the much needed joint venture with ThyssenKrupp gets the green light,” said Unite national officer for steel Tony Brady.
“Unite is monitoring the situation and engaging with Tata Steel as we seek to ensure that workers are not left high and dry or subject to any fire sale as a result of a European Commission ruling,” he added.
“Workers are a business’ most important asset and it is vital during this process that Tata Steel continues to act transparently and as a responsible seller should it be ordered to offload parts of its UK operations.
“Anything less would be a kick in the teeth for a workforce that has worked tirelessly and with great sacrifice to keep the UK’s steel industry alive.”