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Port Talbot calls on Tata to shelve closure plans until general election

Neath Port Talbot

A demonstration will be held outside of Port Talbot steelworks tomorrow (Friday). The protest, organised by Unite and attended by members of the public, will call on Tata to shelve its plans to close both blast furnaces and wait for this year’s general election.

When: 12 noon, Friday 26 January 2024

Where: Main Entrance (Academy Roundabout), Tata Steel, Port Talbot, SA13 2LZ

(Steel workers and members of the community will be available for interview and Unite can supply photos and video after the event.)

Unite has secured commitments that an incoming Labour government will invest £3 billion in the UK’s steel industry and provide serious investment for Port Talbot. Labour’s leadership has told Tata not to make any “irreversible decisions” prior to the general election, which is expected in the autumn.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Tata has had clear commitments that a Labour government will provide serious investment for the plant. Unite has shown how we can use this investment to save jobs and maintain capacity that allows for future growth at Port Talbot.

“The demand for steel is expanding and the opportunity is there for the UK to become the European capital of green steel. Tata must listen, shelve its plans and protect UK steel production. Unite will not stop fighting until it does.”

Afan Ales and Fine Wines owner Gavin John will be attending the demonstration.

He said:“A large percentage of my business relies on customers from the steelworks. Tata’s current plans will be devasting not just for myself but all of Port Talbot – they are literally a town killer. Once both blast furnaces are off, they can’t be switched on again.

“Delaying any decisions for a few months to get the general election out the way would not hurt Tata in the slightest and could benefit the company and Port Talbot enormously. The company must see sense.”