'It's what has kept this town going', say Port Talbot residents

ITV Wales spoke with local people in Port Talbot as they await an official statement off Tata Steel.

People in Port Talbot have had their say after it emerged thousands of jobs are at risk at the area's biggest employer.

Tata steel are expected to announce the closure of the two blast furnaces at their site.

It's a move which union's believe could lead to up to three-quarters of the staff based in south Wales losing their jobs.

One resident said: "Most of the town worked there. They did their apprenticeships and [if they're] my age they're coming up to retirement age.

"It's what's kept this town going."

Another said: "I don't like the pollution. I do like the thing about people losing their jobs and it would bring the area down.

"A lot of people work there and a lot of people get good wages. But there needs to be more effort to sort out the pollution. it's disgusting."

ITV News Understands that the steel giant is to press ahead with plans to close blast furnaces at its Port Talbot plant, threatening more than 3,000 jobs

Although there is hope a few hundred jobs could be saved in the transition period.

Unions representing steelworkers met bosses of Tata in London on Thursday for talks about the future of the company, after presenting alternative proposals aimed at saving jobs in Port Talbot.

Sources said Tata rejected the plan and were pressing ahead with proposals for a greener form of steelmaking to cut emissions and stem financial losses.

Unions will consult their members on how to respond to job losses, with industrial action not being ruled out.

A Tata Steel spokesman said ahead of the meeting: “We have recently announced a joint agreement between Tata Steel and UK Government for a proposal to invest in state-of-the art Electric Arc Furnace steelmaking in Port Talbot.

“We are committed to meaningful information sharing and consultation with our trade union partners about the plan to develop sustainable steelmaking in the UK and to find solutions for concerns they may have.

“While those discussions are ongoing it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

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