Welsh Lib Dems criticise Tata’s “heavy handed” approach to steel workers concerns

30 Apr 2024
Tata steel

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have called out Tata steel for threatening to withdraw redundancy packages from workers at their Port Talbot site if they decide to go on strike over potential job losses.

The company also rejected plans submitted by the unions which would have kept at least one of the blast furnaces running at the site.

The steel firm recently announced plans to build a £1.25 billion electric arc furnace, to replace two blast furnaces, at Port Talbot, with £500 million UK government support.

Around 2,800 jobs are likely to go across Tata's UK operations, with the bulk at Port Talbot

The Welsh Lib Dems have criticised the Indian based steel firm for their heavy-handed approach towards the concerns of workers at the company’s Port Talbot site as well as for rejecting the unions proposals.

The party have also called on the Welsh Government to provide both “short and long-term” support to the local community in light of these recent developments.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“Tata’s unnecessarily heavy-handed approach towards this crisis has only added further fuel to the fire, and their threat to withdraw redundancy packages will do nothing to calm the nerves of those workers already at risk of losing their livelihoods.

Our Welsh workers cannot be cast aside and treated as collateral damage, they are real people dealing with governmental negligence and abandonment.

Tata’s proposed transition will result in an economic disaster for thousands of workers, their families, and the surrounding community of Port Talbot. Whilst also contributing towards a mental health crisis that could see a grave increase in risks of suicide.

It’s not only people’s wallets at risk here but also their lives.

We must have a comprehensive plan, built in cooperation with the workers, that not only provides retraining but also financial security and dignity.

We cannot afford to hand Tata the keys and await the impending crash, we must act now for the sake of the community of Port Talbot.”

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