Tata Steel: Future of thousands of UK workers to be discussed

British union leaders have held talks in India ahead of a board meeting of steel giant Tata, which could decide the fate of thousands of UK workers.

The board will meet in Mumbai on Tuesday, with the future of thousands of steelworkers is at stake, especially at the Port Talbot plant in South Wales.

The site bore the brunt of more than 1,000 job losses announced in January, but unless Tata implements a turnaround plan, the entire future of the plant could be in doubt.

"Constructive" talks took place between officials from the Community union and senior company representatives ahead of the meeting.

More than 35,000 people have signed an open letter to Tata Steel's chairman Cyrus Mistry in support of the UK steelworkers.

Roy Rickhuss, Community general secretary, said: "No one underestimates the scale of the challenge we are facing but our steel industry is of vital importance to our communities, our families and our nation.

"In Mumbai, I'm standing up for the whole UK steel industry and asking Tata to give us the chance we need to succeed.

"Steel is the very foundation of our manufacturing base, even the Prime Minister has conceded that it would be simply unacceptable for Tata to end our steelmaking capacity."

Steelworkers and companies have called for more action from the government to tackle cheap Chinese steel imports and high energy costs which have been blamed for thousands of job cuts.