The UK government is set to announce a £500m support package for Tata Steel to secure the future of the Port Talbot steelworks, in an agreement that could lead to as many as 3,000 job losses, according to a report by The Guardian.
India’s Tata group, which owns the south Wales steelworks has been in negotiations over government subsidies to enable it to transition to greener production methods.
Tata Steel UK, which employs about 8,000 staff at two of Britain’s four remaining blast furnaces, does not earn enough to cover the cost of decarbonization on its own. About 4,000 people are employed at Port Talbot.
Under the agreement, the government will provide a state aid package to help switch Port Talbot’s two coal-powered blast furnaces to greener electric arc versions that can run on zero carbon electricity.
As part of the deal, Tata Steel is expected to inject about £700m into the green initiative.
As stated in The Guardian, the agreement with the government is likely to result in up to 3,000 job losses over the long term as a result of decarbonization.
The government is in talks about a financial support package to assist Tata Steel employees facing redundancy, although some of the job cuts are likely to come from workers taking early retirement.
“Government intervention in the steel industry is long overdue, but imposing a programme without proper worker consultation is unacceptable.''Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, GMB national officer
Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, a GMB national officer, said: “Government intervention in the steel industry is long overdue, but imposing a programme without proper worker consultation is unacceptable. GMB has urged ministers and Tata Steel to have a longer-term view on the decarbonization of steel. It is not a just transition if thousands of jobs are sacrificed in the name of short-term environmental gains.’’
Source: The Guardian