Posted: Wed 28th Feb 2024

Gwent Council Passes Motion of Support for Steelworkers Facing Job Losses /

Additional reporting: Yashaswi Kochar 
A GWENT council has passed a motion of support for thousands of steelworkers who face losing their jobs at Port Talbot and elsewhere. 
Across the UK steel firm Tata has said 2,423 jobs are at risk, with 1,929 of those in Port Talbot, which employs 3,859 people. 
Torfaen Borough Council, which is around 40 miles east of Port Talbot, agreed a statement expressing its support for the workforce and their families “in their campaign to secure a more positive future”. 
The motion, which doesn’t commit the council to taking any action, also states it supports the plan put forward by trade unions as an alternative to Tata’s proposals to replace existing, and heavily polluting, blast furnaces at the site with greener electric arc furnaces, which have been backed with  £500 million from the UK Government.
It urges “Tata Steel and the Welsh and UK Governments to work together to fully explore” alternatives. 
Torfaen’s motion recognised the need for decarbonisation, but questioned the environmental logic of ceasing virgin steel production in the UK and instead importing from other nations. 
It also questions the national security implications of lacking domestic steel making capacity in “an increasingly uncertain world” 
It added: “We recognise the cost of subsidising production but also note the social and economic cost of the loss of good quality jobs on such a scale.” 
The council’s Labour leader, Anthony Hunt, who put the motion forward told councillors: “This is a call for the best deal for workers, the best deal for families, the best deal for the wider economy and not the cheapest deal. The impact of it is not just in Port Talbot but in many manufacturing businesses across Wales and beyond.” 
The motion recognised the impact of Tata’s decision not only on those directly employed at Port Talbot but also on the supply chain and in related manufacturing operations across South Wales including Llanwern steelworks, where it said “many local residents have worked”. 
No councillors voted against the motion at the full council’s February 27 meeting at the Civic Centre, in Pontypool, but independent member for Llantarnam, in Cwmbran, Alan Slade abstained. 
Tata’s publicly-available accounts show that since 2007, Tata Steel UK has lost more than £4 billion after tax. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Spotted something? Got a story? Email News@News.Wales

More from Neath Port Talbot Council

Taxi Fares in Neath Port Talbot Borough Could Rise Soon

Neath Port Talbot Council

Neath Port Talbot Council Approves Arrears Prevention Policy for Temporary Accommodation

Neath Port Talbot Council

Residents in Neath Cul-de-sac frustrated as recycling collections delayed

Neath Port Talbot Council

Neath Port Talbot Council to Discuss Arrears Prevention Policy

Neath Port Talbot Council

Neath Port Talbot Council Implements Strong Cyber Security Measures for Online Systems

Neath Port Talbot Council

Pre-planning Application Submitted for Holiday Lodges in Neath Valley

Neath Port Talbot Council

Latest from News.Wales

Former Victorian Asylum in Carmarthen to be Converted Into Medical Park

Carmarthenshire Council

Pembrokeshire County Council Leader David Simpson to Stand Down Next Month

Pembrokeshire Council

Potential Shared Chief Executive Post Proposed for Torfaen and Blaenau Gwent councils

Torfaen Council

Electric Car Advocate Calls for Transition to Battery-Powered Fleet in Carmarthenshire

Carmarthenshire Council

Preferred Sites for Gypsy Travellers in Monmouthshire to be Identified This Summer

Monmouthshire Council

School Rebuild Plans Near Barry Set for Approval

Vale of Glamorgan Council