“Today’s announcement of very significant job losses at Tata Steel, Port Talbot is shattering news for the workers affected and their families and very bad for our local economy.
Welsh steelworkers and their unions have a track record of working constructively to support their industry and they will be justifiably angry at today’s statement. Though it will be no comfort at all to those who lose their jobs, it is now high time for the UK government to step in, not sit back – and to act on the prohibitive energy costs which Welsh steel faces, as well as engage with the EU to block the dumping of foreign steel into our country from outside Europe. And the UK government should use procurement intelligently to support domestic steel production. The Welsh Government itself also has a role to play. It is already examining how it can use business rates to support steel production and should now do all it can to support those affected today.
There is demand for the type of product that is manufactured in Port Talbot and crucially, it is time for the owners to come forward with concrete proposals to ensure a sustainable future for the steel industry in Wales and to work with all layers of government and as partners with the steel unions and workforce to make that a reality”.