The sad loss of so many jobs at Tata Steel in Port Talbot will be felt deeply across South Wales including here in Llanelli.
I know many local people are either employed directly at that site or indirectly via the company’s supply chain and will be feeling uncertain as to what the future holds. The closure of its blast furnaces raises several unanswered questions about where the UK steel industry goes from here including at their local Trostre plant, which currently sources high quality steel from Port Talbot to fulfil its order book.
Once again, it seems that the UK Government has been asleep at the wheel, effectively using taxpayers’ money to help subsidise Tata Steel in putting thousands of people out of employment and leaving us as the only major economy without the ability to make our own primary steel.
I have already spoken out against the proposals in Parliament and will continue to do whatever I can to defend and fight for steel jobs at Trostre and elsewhere in the UK.
At no point in the last fourteen years has the current Government had a serious long-term plan for steel or any other manufacturing industry.
Speaking with steelworkers and trade unions, I know that the British steel industry can have a bright future and continue to provide jobs and much needed income for our town and the surrounding areas.
A future Labour UK Government has already earmarked £3 billion for investment in steel and pledged to work alongside industry and steel communities to ensure the transition to green steel comes with jobs. We need sensible, well thought out investments through an industrial strategy that protects livelihoods, grows our economy and safeguards our national capabilities rather than throwing British steelworkers on the scrapheap.