Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey has called on the Government to end its ‘bad deal for steel’.
It’s after the Government and Tata steel announced plans for Port Talbot steelworks in South Wales which would cut 2,800 jobs and leave the UK unable to produce primary steel.
John Healey MP said: “I know that many people across Rotherham and South Yorkshire will relate to the concerns of another proud steel community in South Wales following recent announcements around Port Talbot steelworks.
“Whilst there is no immediate threat to jobs in our area, the wider issue of the UK Government’s lack of a coherent industrial strategy – and its lack of support for our steel industry – is a national concern.
“The deal struck between Tata and the UK Government would be hugely damaging for our entire steel sector and would undermine the UK’s sovereignty and security with the degradation of our primary steelmaking capacity.
“Labour is clear that we will not accept this failed plan for decarbonisation on the cheap, and we urge ministers to look again at the credible multi-union alternative. We need our steel – that is why a Labour government will invest £3billion into securing the industry’s long-term future.”
Last week Tata formally responded to reject the Multi-Union Plan that Community and GMB unions presented to the company and announced a £1.25 billion investment in Electric Arc Furnace technology in Port Talbot, backed by the Government.
In addition to the threat to jobs and steel communities, the proposal would slash the UK’s steelmaking capacity by nearly 1 megatonne, make the country highly reliant on a UK scrap supply chain that does not yet exist, and without any blast furnaces, end the UK’s ability to make virgin/primary steel leaving the industry highly reliant on imports.
Community General Secretary Roy Rickhuss said: “We’re grateful to John and the Labour Party for their strong support for our steel industry.
“Labour is right to oppose the UK Government and Tata’s bad deal for steel, and Keir Starmer has already called on the Government to look at our Multi-Union plan which lays out a clear credible alternative that would protect jobs and protect our planet.
“In contrast, the government’s damaging deal would be bad for jobs, bad for the environment, and devastating for steel communities. It will also have significant implications for our national security moving forwards.”