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Steel commitment

Government must support industry
Douglas Beattie, Friday, February 5th, 2016

Tata Steel is being urged to commit to the long-term future of UK steelmaking amid renewed calls for government action.


Unite pointed out that quarterly results released to the Indian stock exchange by the firm showed steelmaking in the UK has a future if the British government takes swift and decisive action to support the industry.


Tata is being asked to guarantee that its planned 30 new products will be made it the UK – with Unite repeating its call for the government here to stop the dumping of cheap Chinese steel.


Union warning


The union warned ministers they were turning their backs on the steel industry by failing to turn guidance on procurement for infrastructure projects into orders.


Over the past few weeks it’s emerged that the government is shunning British steel for new warships being built for the Royal Navy, while nearly half the steel for Britain’s first new nuclear power station in a generation will be imported.


Firm guarantees


Commenting Unite national officer, Harish Patel, said, “Tata Steel needs to give firm guarantees over its commitment to steel making in the UK to restore faith and quell uncertainty amongst a workforce which has been battered by job losses.


“The workforce have worked through challenging times, but are increasingly losing patience with Tata Steel’s management.


Proud workforce


“Tata Steel needs to guarantee that its planned new products are made in the UK. The workforce takes pride in making some of the best steel in the world and deserves an assurance that there is a future.


“The government needs to play its part too. Steelmaking can be profitable and successful in the UK, but only if ministers are serious about saving a vital component of the UK economy.


Insulting farce


“We need action on the dumping of cheap Chinese steel, but equally the government needs to end the insulting farce of British steel being shunned in major infrastructure projects. If it’s built for Britain, then it should be built using British steel,” Patel added.


Tata Steel posted an EBITDA loss of £68 million for last quarter (October 1 to December 31 2015) for its European operations compared to a positive of £132 million for the same period in 2014.


Turnover for the last quarter was £1.64 billion compared to a turnover of £1.98 billion for the same period in 2014. According to the latest figures Tata Steel’s European operations account for 57 per cent of the whole of the Tata Steel group’s turnover.


EBITDA is an indicator of a company’s financial performance which is calculated using a company’s net earnings, before interest expenses, taxes, depreciation and amortization are subtracted.


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