Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Steelworkers at Port Talbot fear job losses after Tata sale halted

The Tata steelworks in Port Talbot Credit: Reuters
  • By ITV News Correspondent Rupert Evelyn

"Our future is now on a knife edge," said one Port Talbot steelworker Friday night, as thousands more ask themselves why the sale of the business by the Indian based firm is effectively over.

The answer is that the government have failed to find a solution to the pension problem and therefore failed to secure their future.

The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, who met with the Tata board in Mumbai on Friday, was unable to offer any guarantees on the one job workers needed him to deliver on.

Later, he described Tata's decision to "look at alternative and more sustainable portfolio solutions" as "encouraging news for UK steel".

The past few months have been a very uncertain time for Tata UK steel workers, particularly at Port Talbot.

So Tata's news today that they intend to explore strategic alternatives including a possible joint-venture with thyssenkrupp AG is encouraging, as is the fact that they have decided to separately sell their specialty steel and pipe businesses in Rotherham, Stocksbridge and Hartlepool.

It is imperative that momentum is maintained to provide much needed security for workers and the wider supply chain.

I met with Tata’s Global Chairman Cyrus Mistry today and underlined that the government remains committed to doing all it can and that our package of commercial support still stands.

We will continue to work closely with Tata to find a long-term solution for sustainable blast furnace steel manufacturing in Port Talbot.

– Business Secretary Sajid Javid

He won't find many people who support his position.

Tata claim they still wish to be "responsible sellers", but a partnership with the Dutch based company Thyssenkrupp AG is viewed with extreme trepidation in South Wales, and the fear of many more job losses is looming large.