Plaid Cymru’s ‘political posturing’ could place the future of the Welsh steel industry at risk says Andrew RT Davies
The leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Andrew RT Davies has told Plaid Cymru to “think very, very carefully before playing politics with 7,000 jobs”
At the beginning of the week Plaid Cymru AM Adam Price urged Tata Steel workers across Wales to reject the pension deal which has been offered by the Mumbai-headquartered company.
Mr Price, the Plaid Cymru shadow cabinet secretary for Business, Economy and Finance told BBC Radio Wales’ Sunday Supplement programme the proposals laid on the table by Tata were “simply unacceptable” and weighted far too heavily towards the company.
Mr Davies raised the issue during First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday, he also challenged the First Minister to restate his endorsement of the pension deal that would secure the future of thousands of jobs in Wales.
Speaking outside the Senedd this Afternoon, he urged Plaid AMs to think carefully before ‘playing politics’:
The Welsh nationalists should think very, very carefully before playing politics with 7,000 jobs and a situation that could escalate very quickly indeed.
It’s fine for Adam Price and Bethan Jenkins to call on the workers to reject this deal – but they’re not going to step in and secure an alternative to the loss of thousands of jobs.
We must not underestimate the gravity of the decision facing workers, who are being asked to make a calculated sacrifice to secure their long-term livelihoods.
I don’t doubt how difficult that is. But what we must not do is allow political opportunism to compromise the future of the steel industry.
Mr Davies added:
Plaid’s political posturing risks putting the future of the steel industry at risk.
Ultimately, as the First Minister conceded today, there is no plan B and there are no other options on the horizon that could secure the future of Welsh steel.
That’s why it’s so important that the First Minister once again provided an unequivocal endorsement of the deal – because the future of 7,000 jobs across Wales is at stake.
During First Minister’s Questions Carwyn Jones Am said:
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I endorse the deal. I think it’s a very good deal, compared particularly to where we were in the spring, when the situation was particularly bleak for steel—the heavy-end steel making in Port Talbot.
And it is a tribute to all the hard work that’s been put in by many, many people that we are in a situation now where Port Talbot particularly can look forward. And certainly, I think this deal is a deal that I can certainly endorse and a deal that can provide a future for the plant.