Tata commits to future in Port Talbot - saving 4,000 jobs

Over 4,000 jobs that were at risk at a steel plant in Port Talbot, Wales, have been secured after unions got a commitment from multinational Tata Steel to keep production there.

The Tata steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales. Picture: PA
The Tata steelworks in Port Talbot, South Wales. Picture: PA

The announcement yesterday that Tata would keep two blast furnaces operating for five years came after hours of meetings with union leaders. Compulsory redundancies will be avoided but unions say the revised pension plan remains “worrying.”

“This proposal would secure jobs for years to come and bring serious investment not just to Port Talbot but to steelworks across the U.K.,” said Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of the Community union. “Reaching this stage of the process is a credit to the hard work of our members, who never gave up the fight.”

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The future of the plant and others around the U.K. had been in doubt since March when Tata Steel, based in India, announced plans to sell its U.K. operations.

The business was losing £1million a day due to high costs and a glut of cheap Chinese steel in global markets.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said: “This agreement is great news for the future of steel-making in Wales.

“I am pleased to announce over £4 million to develop skills and training for Tata employees, we have also made significant progress towards defining a wider package of support for Tata.”