Home Business News Labour insists there is ‘money available for the steel industry’

Labour insists there is ‘money available for the steel industry’

8th Jul 24 8:58 am

Labour’s Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds has said the government will try to secure “job guarantees.”

Reynold suggested this will be in return for taxpayer funded investment as Labour will hold talks with Tata Steel for thousands of workers at Port Talbot steelworks.

Last week Tata shut down Blast Furnace 5 as the company moves to greener production and they will install electric arc furnaces, this will cost thousands of jobs.

Tata has said they are restructuring the business as they are losing more than £1 million a day and unions have warned that 2,800 are at risk.

However, Reynold’s said that under Labour’s manifesto, the government have committed £2.5 billion to “rebuild our steel industry,” this is “on top” of what the Tories commitment of £500 million.

Reynold’s told BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg, “There is more money available for the steel industry under our plans for government.

“But that’s about making sure we meet this transition with the private sector together and recognise … it is a good exemplar of how we have to make sure that decarbonisation is not deindustrialisation and we’ve got to do that together.

“But there is a better deal available for Port Talbot and the steel industry as a whole, I’m sure of that.”

Reynolds added, “I do want things in exchange for money we’ll co-invest with the private sector around jobs and technology.

“I think that’s a reasonable way to make sure public money is being well spent and I believe there are things, capacities, the steel industry needs in future that could be part of that conversation and that’s what I’ll be having in the next few days.”

Reynold’s said, “I’m going to make sure that job guarantees are part of the negotiation that we’re having.”

Labour’s Business Secretary continued, “Blast furnaces employ more people than some of the newer technologies available, whether that is electric arc furnaces or what is called DRI, so there’s a range of things you have to understand.

“But I absolutely agree with the point that we have to make sure this is a transition that works for working people and that they’re part of that and you can’t simply give money out without guarantees in exchange for that.

“But there is a negotiation and I’m going to have to keep a little bit of that information to myself while I engage with the company.”

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham told Kuenssberg, “There’s no doubt that Labour coming in and the intent of what they want to do is a good thing.”

She added, “My main focus is jobs, pay and conditions for workers so I’m going to either be seen as a critical friend or a pain in the proverbial, whichever they want to take that, because it’s my job to make sure feet to the fire on this.”

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