Welsh steel workers in London march as Tata board meet to decide fate of its UK plants
Steelworkers from Shotton and across Wales will march through London today to highlight the crisis in the UK steel industry and demand the government ensures the responsible sale of Tata Steel’s UK assets.
The march comes as Tata’s board gathers in India to sift through bids for its troubled UK operations.
Union members from Tata and several other major steel companies will take part in the march which will begin at London’s Embankment before walking down Whitehall and past Downing Street, it will finish near the Houses of Parliament.
Unite Wales Secretary, Andy Richards said:
“People from across Wales have been supporting the ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign. This march will bring steelworkers from across Wales to London to focus all our attention on delivering a clear message to government.”
“The Welsh steel industry is one of our foundation industries. We have a highly skilled and dedicated workforce that has invested their lives in the industry. We expect the government to recognise this.”
“It took the UK government a long time to understand how serious this steel crisis is. This march will be an opportunity for all unions to send a clear message that we need a long term strategy to support our industry and safeguard vital jobs.”
“We owe it to steelworkers, their families and communities across Wales to secure a future for this vital industry.”
Today hundreds of steel workers will march in London as they anxiously await the outcome of the Tata sale process.
They are standing up for their jobs, for this vital foundation industry, and Labour stands with them.
The Government have been slow in responding to the steel crisis, and they need to go further still. UK steel can have a bright future, but we need to take action against Chinese dumping, and ensure China is not granted market economy status.
It’s about time the Government stopped kowtowing to China and started standing up for our steel industry.
Angela Eagle, shadow business secreatary
Business secretary Sajid Javid has flown to Mumbai to attend the Tata board meeting.
Javid was roundly criticised for his ‘flatted footed’ response to the steel crisis and not attending Tata’s pivotal board meeting in Mumbai in March where the company decided to offload its UK steel assets.
The Business Secretary said ‘with hindsight’ he should have travelled to India for the meeting of the company’s board.
However, Mr Javid went on a trade trip to Australia accompanied by his daughter because he was not aware how important the event would be.
Wales first minister Carwyn Jones will be in Mumbai for talks today he said on twitter:
Bids are in.
It’s thought that at least four parties have submitted bids for Tata’s UK steel assets.
Management buyout vehicle Excalibur Steel, Sanjeev Gupta’s Liberty House metals group, India’s JSW Steel Ltd and Greybull Capital have submitted separate bids for Tata’s UK operations.
Tata said earlier this month it had received seven notifications of interest.
The board is expected to pick apart the bids and decide which warrant closer consideration.
Despite reports that the two were prepared to work together to secure a deal Excalibur, led by Tata’s UK strip products director Stuart Wilkie, and Liberty have put in separate bids.
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