Responding to Sajid Javid’s visit to Port Talbot, Roy Rickhuss, the general secretary of Community, the steelworkers’ union said:
“It is promising that the business secretary has taken the time to listen directly to the concerns of steelworkers in Port Talbot. His colleagues should remember that this is a national steel crisis. We need concerted action between the government and unions at a national level to ensure that Tata is a responsible seller and we secure a future for steelmaking in the UK. There are thousands of worried families right across the UK who are looking to the government to give them some hope. Now the minister has heard from workers he and the Prime Minister need to get a grip of the situation. He must meet with me and work with Community union on a plan to save our steel.”
“We do not need more false claims from ministers that they have done all they can for the UK steel industry. This is quite clearly not the case when they are ring-leading opposition to Europe imposing higher tariffs on unfairly traded steel. I have lost count of the number of debates and discussions that we have had with government ministers over the past few years to warn them about the threat to jobs if there was no action to provide support and instil confidence in steel producers. As for their claims that government intervention helped to stop Tata Steel closing their plants, the ministers were well aware of the decisions being taken. The government should have been prepared for this announcement and ready to provide some reassurance to steelworkers, not just in Port Talbot, but right across the UK.
“As for the news that the Chinese are slapping 46% tariffs on Welsh steel – it must be April Fool’s Day.”