Tata Steel has confirmed on Friday that thousands of jobs will be lost at the plant in Port Talbot, South Wales as they are to close blast furnaces.
More than 3,000 jobs will be lost as the company are transition to a more sustainable green business, 2,800 will go over the next 18 months and a further 300 will also be axed.
Tata said in a statement, “Tata Steel today announced it will commence statutory consultation as part of its plan to transform and restructure its UK business.
“This plan is intended to reverse more than a decade of losses and transition from the legacy blast furnaces to a more sustainable, green steel business.
“The transformation would secure most of Tata Steel UK’s existing product capability and maintain the country’s self-sufficiency in steelmaking, while also reducing Tata Steel UK’s CO2 emissions by five million tonnes per year and overall UK country emissions by about 1.5%.”
Stephen Kinnock, Labour MP for Aberavon told Sky News: “Steel is the beating heart of manufacturing and of our entire infrastructure and, of course, of our national security.
“Do we really want to be a country, given the dangerous and turbulent world in which we live, that isn’t able to produce its own steel?
We are very proud of what the Port Talbot steelworks means for Wales and for the entire United Kingdom and we feel passionately here.
“There isn’t a single household in my Aberavon constituency that isn’t connected to the steelworks in some way, and the impact would be utterly devastating.”
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Jane Dodds said: “I am deeply disappointed to hear that Tata Steel will be closing their remaining blast furnaces in the UK, something which could have a devastating impact on communities across the country, particularly in Port Talbot, where the local economy is reliant on the nearby steel plant.
“The UK Conservative Government, through their inability to support investment into UK steel, has failed towns like Port Talbot across the country.
“If the UK Government was willing to implement a real and sustainable industrial strategy that protected jobs whilst simultaneously supporting the transition to low carbon sectors, we wouldn’t find ourselves in this mess.
“But now we are here, on the verge of witnessing the destruction of Port Talbot.
“The Prime Minister and his cabinet will never know what it’s like for the thousands of workers at risk of losing their jobs, they will never know the constant worrying and anxiety that comes with the prospect of losing one’s livelihood.”
Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, GMB national officer, said: “Large-scale job losses would be a crushing blow to Port Talbot and UK manufacturing in general.
“It doesn’t have to be this way – unions provided a realistic, costed alternative that would rule out all compulsory redundancies.
“This plan appears to have fallen on deaf ears and now steelworkers and their families will suffer.”