Unite in Wales has reacted with concern to media reports questioning the long term future of the blast furnaces at Tata’s Port Talbot plant.
Speculation has emerged that Tata is in talks with the UK government to replace the plant’s blast furnaces with electric arc furnaces as a condition of its investment in the site.
“The media reports regarding the future of Port Talbot’s blast furnaces are speculation and indeed unhelpful to Unite’s campaign to secure a long term future for the Welsh and UK steel industry,” commented Tony Brady, Unite national officer for steel.
“We have to be creative in building a future for Tata in the UK but that absolutely cannot be at the expense of our members’ jobs.
“UK government support for the steel sector is desperately needed and it is good news that dialogue with the steel sector is finally taking place.”
He added, “The top priority in these discussions has to be about maintaining maximum levels of employment. Unite will be taking this message loud and clear to Tata when we meet with them this week.”
By Glyn Connolly