‘3,000 jobs at Tata Steel cannot be saved’ says Welsh Secretary

In an exclusive interview with CJS News, David TC Davies, said the Welsh Government is giving “false hope” to Tata’s steelworkers by claiming there is a chance the job cuts can be reversed.

It comes after the Welsh Government called for “a better deal” for the steelworkers saying there is a “viable future” for Tata, after the company announced it would be closing two of its blast furnaces in Port Talbot as part of plans to make greener steel.

Tata Steel announced that it was closing both blast furnaces in Port Talbot in September and replacing them with an electric furnace that will melt down scrap steel, funded by a £500 million investment by the UK Government.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething previously argued the job losses can be reversed if a better deal was struck with Tata Steel.

David TC Davies said “There is no other deal that’s on offer unless, I suppose, Vaughan Gething went out and said, ‘I will cover your losses of £1.5 million a day’. He needs to spell out exactly what his alternative vision is and what its going to cost. It is no good giving people false hope.”

He added: “The deal reached between the UK Government and Tata risks delivers economic loss of historic proportions for Wales … we will continue to engage with the business, trades unions and UK Ministers to support the best deal for steel, not the cheapest deal.”

Tata Steel plant in Port Talbot

The Welsh Government is calling for one of the blast furnaces to remain open while the electric furnace is being built to help ease the transition period for the workers.

This is the deal that the Welsh Government believe the UK government need to encourage.

David TC Davies said: “The Senedd and others seem to be making the assumption that this is a government decision. It is not a government decision. Tata have decided that they are going to close both blast furnaces because they are losing what at present is around £1.5 million a day.

“Fundamentally, therefore, if the unions or the Senedd or anyone else, including me, want this to happen, its not the government they have to persuade. It’s Tata. It’s Tata who are responsible for this.”

CJS News contacted the Welsh Government on what alternative plan it can propose for a “viable future” in Port Talbot but we are yet to get a response.

David TC Davies also criticised UK Labour’s plans to invest £3 billion into steel should they win the next general election.

It comes after Keir Starmer announced that a £28 billion green investment pledge has been dropped claiming it was no longer affordable because the Tories had crashed the economy.

However UK Labour says it remain committed to a £3 billion fund for steel.

David TC Davies said: “Nobody’s quite certain where this money is going to come from”.

He added: “I spoke to Tata about two weeks ago and they said Labour haven’t come to them with any kind of a costed plan whatsoever.”

In response, UK Labour described Mr Davies’ comments as “nonsense” and said it has discussed its plans directly with Tata.

On Wednesday Tata’s boss Rajesh Nair faced a committee in Senedd and stood by his company’s decision to close the blast furnaces, but added Tata would consider “additional alternative measures” if the UK Government was able to put more money on the table.