Thousands of jobs at Tata steel plant could be saved as ministers ‘in talks’
The Government could be set to sign off a £500m aid package to secure the future of steel making in South Wales.
Sky News reports officials are close to agreeing the aid package with Tata Steel – which would also see the steel producer’s Indian parent company invest £700m into the Port Talbot site which will secure thousands of jobs.
As part of the deal, it is thought Tata Steel will also invest £700m into its Port Talbot site, which employs around 4,000 people.
The company would reportedly commit to building electric arc furnaces, which offer greener, less labour-intensive ways of producing steel than traditional blast furnaces.
The company employs around 8,000 people in the UK, with around 3,000 jobs expected to be lost over the long-term.
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The deal could be finalised by as soon as this month, according to reports.
A Tata Steel spokesman said in a statement issued to Sky News: “Tata Steel is continuing to discuss with the UK Government a framework for continuity and decarbonisation of steelmaking in the UK amidst very challenging underlying business conditions, given that several of its heavy-end assets are approaching the end of life.
“Given the financially constrained position of our UK business, such significant change is only possible with Government investment and support, as also seen in other steelmaking countries in Europe where governments are actively supporting companies in decarbonisation initiatives.”
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Unite general secretary Sharon Graham criticised the reported plans and said the union would be “mounting a significant campaign” to protect jobs.
She said: “This Government could make us the green steel capital of Europe – instead they are choosing to follow a job cuts agenda.
“Unite will leave no stone unturned in the fight for jobs.
“We will now be mounting a significant campaign on this issue and we fully expect the Labour Party to make a serious commitment to a better future for UK Steel.”
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