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Community responds to Tata Steel asset sales news

8th May 2018

The steelworkers trade union Community has said it is ‘yet to be persuaded’ of the case for sale of several Tata Steel businesses. Tata Steel today announced its intention to sell five business units.

Responding to the announcement, Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community and Chair of the National Trade Union Steel Co-ordinating Committee, said:

“Clearly this will bring yet another period of uncertainty to hundreds of steelworkers across the UK and will be worrying news for many of them and their families. We are yet to be persuaded of the business cases for these proposed sales and we are calling on Tata to demonstrate that it is a responsible seller in practical terms by allowing time for the unions and our experts to look at the rationale behind today’s announcement. No sale agreements should be signed before full consultation has taken place.

“During our discussions with Tata about the merger with thyssenkrupp, we secured a commitment that there would be no asset closures and this principle must be upheld throughout this process and any sale. Potential purchasers need to have the best interests of these businesses at heart, honour the jobs pact we have secured and be prepared to invest. The skilled and experienced workforces within these businesses have delivered for their owners time and again – they deserve a sustainable future.”

The businesses proposed for sale include the electrical steels business, Cogent, based in Newport (pictured) and Firsteel in Walsall, which coats steel for kitchen bakeware.


Photo: © Copyright Chris Allen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The sale process will cover five business units:

  • Cogent, a manufacturer and processor of electrical steels based in Newport, South Wales (UK), Burlington, Canada and Surahammar, Sweden
  • Kalzip, an aluminium roofing and cladding business based primarily in Koblenz, Germany
  • Firsteel which coats steel for kitchen bakeware based in Walsall, West Midlands, UK
  • Tata Steel Istanbul Metals, a coil coating company using steel bought on the open market, based in Adapazari, Turkey
  • Engineering Steels (Wolverhampton) which is a stockholder and processes engineering steels, based in the Wolverhampton, West Midlands, UK.

Tata Steel announcement is here