The Tata Steel announcement is deeply disappointing and has caused great concern and uncertainty for the workers and their families, particularly at this time of year. The blow has been made worse by TATA providing very little detail about where the job losses will be.
It is essential that TATA sit down with the workforce and unions – many from here in Ogmore – and put together a better way forward. The long-term dedicated workforce deserve better and this is no way to treat employees and their families who have shown incredible loyalty.
It is unclear at this stage how many, if any, of the job losses will be at the Port Talbot site and Aberavon Assembly Member Dave Rees and the Welsh Government Minister Ken Skates are seeking urgent answers from TATA.
The Welsh Government continues to be a firm supporter of the steel industry and the Tory UK Government must also step up and play its full role in matching this support.
I will continue to work closely with my neighbouring Aberavon colleague Dave Rees AM and the Welsh Government to do everything we can to support any workers that may be affected. The Welsh Government’s ReAct programme also stands ready to provide assistance to the workers across the Welsh TATA Steel sites, with coordinated support from local partners.
We call on the UK Government to show the same level of commitment as the Welsh Government, and call a Steel Council to address the urgent challenges facing the UK steel industry and to agree a steel sector deal.