2,800 steel jobs set to go! – workers demand general strike, while the TUC appeals to Tories

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TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak has begged Tory PM Sunak to stop Tata carrying out last Friday’s threat to sack 2,800 steelworkers in Port Talbot, Wales.

Nowak said: ‘Steel unions have been pressing the government to develop a serious plan for UK steel for years.

‘The Prime Minister can’t stand by and let thousands of jobs go to the wall. It is essential that the company and ministers step back from these devastating plans.

‘Other countries are actively investing and future-proofing their industrial heartlands. We cannot afford to become an outlier.

‘We urgently need a proper industrial strategy to prevent crises like these from happening again.’

The Unite union yesterday exposed Tata’s claims that it has to cut jobs and close its blast furnaces for financial reasons as ‘a sham’.

Tata Steel Ltd, the direct parent company of Tata Steel UK Ltd made £3 billion in EBITDA and £900 million in net profits in 2022/23. Tata Steel Ltd has reserves of £1.6 billion and has paid out dividends of £1.4 billion to shareholders between 2019 and 2023.

In the last five years, Tata Steel Ltd’s revenue has grown by 47 per cent and it has generated a combined profit of £9.7 billion during that period. Tata Sons – parent company of Tata Steel Ltd is the massive Indian holding company of Tata Steel. Its company returns describe 2023 as its ‘best ever’.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: ‘Tata’s pleas of poverty have been exposed as a sham. They are making money hand over fist and will only profit from bringing in more Indian and Dutch steel to the UK if we cut capacity.

‘It is unbelievable that the government is going along with this. Rather than demanding that the needed investment comes with jobs guarantees and growth for UK steel – they are giving Tata half a billion of taxpayers’ money to slash its workforce and flood the UK with foreign steel.

‘Port Talbot is far from the basket case that Tata has painted it as, there is an underlying healthy business which could be transformed by serious investment to increase capacity, with the UK becoming the green capital of steel.

‘Instead, Tata has cynically chosen to close its blast furnaces and cut skilled jobs to boost its own interests at the expense of UK workers, UK industry and the UK economy.’

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