MP John Healey has called on the government to give extensive support to Rotherham as confirmation is expected on Tata job losses. And he has demanded the Chancellor announce action to help the steel industry this month.
Tata Steel announced in July that they planned to shed 720 jobs, including 500 in Rotherham. Afterwards independent experts were commissioned by Tata with trade union support to review the business case and look at alternatives to their plans. The company are expected to confirm the final number of jobs losses in South Yorkshire soon.
Mr Healey, MP for Wentworth & Dearne, which includes the Aldwarke plant, has written to the Secretary of State for Business, Sajid Javid, and Dr Karl K?hler, CEO and managing director of Tata Europe.
The MP said, with the UK steel industry in crisis, it is inevitable that several hundred employees will be affected – and considerably more in the local supply chain.
He added in the letters: “There is no doubt the situation in Rotherham is severe and justifies the same taskforce approach as that being put in place in Scunthorpe in response to the 900 redundancies.
“It also needs the same national funding as provided for Scunthorpe – to quickly support job creation, start-up businesses, companies looking to expand and re-training for affected employees.”
Up to £9m of support from the government and Tata has been announced to support Scunthorpe steel workers and the local economy.
Mr Healey commented: “Rotherham will be the next big announcement of job losses in this steel crisis that has also hit Redcar, Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire. The government have simply failed to give steel the support it needs, despite repeated calls from steel town MPs and the industry.
“We need to see the Chancellor announce in his Autumn Statement that the government will begin to back the UK steel industry – before it’s too late
“I still hope Tata will reduce the redundancies in Rotherham they announced in July but it seems inevitable that hundreds of jobs will go. This will be devastating to Rotherham.
“And if our fears are confirmed, then we need the government and Tata to step in and give the same support to Rotherham as they did in Scunthorpe.”
Yesterday (5 November), India-based Tata warned that market conditions in the UK had “significantly worsened” during the second quarter of the year and said their cost-cutting would have to continue if conditions did not improve. Tata also announced it had written down the value of the British business.