Tata Steel to sell UK business
Steel giant Tata is expected to put its loss-making UK business up for sale, union sources say.
The decision puts the jobs of thousands of UK workers in doubt.
The Indian company held a board meeting in Mumbai on Tuesday at which the decision was made to sell its UK steel operations.
Union leaders had travelled to Mumbai in a bid to persuade Tata to keep making steel at Port Talbot and other plants including Rotherham and Corby.
Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community, said: “Our worst fear that Tata would announce plant closures today has not been realised … It is vitally important that Tata is a responsible seller of its businesses and provides sufficient time to find new ownership.
“There is also a crucial role for both the Welsh and UK governments to do all they can to ensure a future for Tata’s remaining UK steel businesses and to provide every assistance to secure a buyer that will continue steel making.”
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was “deeply concerned” and called on the government to intervene: “Ministers must act now to protect the steel industry and the core of manufacturing in Britain.”
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood tweeted: “If reports from Mumbai are true, it’s devastating. @Plaid-Cymru wants Assembly recall. All must work together now to save our steel industry.”
Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew Davies also said the Welsh Assembly, which is in recess, should be recalled to discuss the crisis.
“We want a detailed plan of action to find buyers and build confidence in potential investors in UK steel,” he said.
Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite union, said: “This is a very dark day for the proud communities and a proud industry which is now on the verge of extinction in this country.”
Dave Hulse, national officer of the GMB union, said: “This is absolutely devastating news for all our members, their families and the local communities. Tata has let the whole of the UK steel industry down.”
Tata has blamed fierce competition from cheap Chinese imports, regulatory costs and the strong pound for losses at its UK steel business.
Other factors affecting the wider UK steel industry include relatively high energy prices and the extra cost of climate change policies, as well as competition from China.
There have been allegations that Chinese steel is being “dumped” on world markets at prices that UK plants cannot hope to compete with.
At the same time China’s economy has remained sluggish, meaning that the demand for steel from its construction sector is now weaker.
“Tata has blamed fierce competition from cheap Chinese imports, regulatory costs and the strong pound for losses at its UK steel business. Other factors affecting the wider UK steel industry include relatively high energy prices and the extra cost of climate change policies, as well as competition from China.”
yeah it was china..china is bad..bad china..oh and global warming zealot rules may also have contributed..
it certainly does..and its the same story in many other western countries..