Today, Roy Rickhuss, the General Secretary of the steelworkers’ union, Community, has travelled to India in advance of Tuesday’s crunch meeting of the Tata Steel board. With the board set to discuss a turnaround plan for the giant Port Talbot steelworks, Community is calling on Tata to support its UK workforce and back the plan.
Roy Rickhuss has travelled to Mumbai with two Port Talbot steelworkers and the local MP, Stephen Kinnock. This follows the past week’s ‘Save Our Steel’ campaign which has seen over 35,000 people sign an open letter to Tata Steel’s chairman, Cyrus Mistry. That open letter and the launch of an emotional campaign video has shifted attention firmly to Tuesday’s board meeting.
Speaking before he left the UK, Roy Rickhuss said: “No one underestimates the scale of the challenge we are facing, but our steel industry is of vital importance to our communities, our families and our nation.
“In Mumbai, I’ll be standing up for the whole UK steel industry and asking Tata to give us the chance we need to succeed. Steel is the very foundation of our manufacturing base, even the Prime Minister has conceded that it would be simply unacceptable for Tata to end our steelmaking capacity.”
Alan Coombs, chair of the Port Talbot multi-union committee and one of the steelworkers travelling to Mumbai said: “Our town was built on the steel industry. It has given us more than just jobs, it has shaped our lives and communities. On behalf of my town, my workmates and my industry, I will be asking Tata to back Port Talbot and the plan to save our steelworks.”