Union representing Port Talbot steelworkers sets date for strike

Tata Steel workers at the Port Talbot plant are preparing to take industrial action next month, according to a recent announcement by the union Unite. The planned action, which falls short of a strike, is a response to the company’s decision to close both of its blast furnaces in the area, putting thousands of jobs in South Wales at risk.

The closure of the furnaces is part of Tata’s plan to reduce emissions and costs by replacing them with an electric arc furnace. However, unions have raised concerns about the potential loss of 2,800 jobs as a result of these plans. Unite has stated that around 1,500 Tata steelworkers based in Port Talbot and Llanwern, Newport, will begin working to rule on 18 June and will also participate in a ban on overtime.

In addition, the union has not ruled out the possibility of strike action if their demands are not met and the company’s plans are not changed. Unite’s general secretary, Sharon Graham, has stated that Tata has “miscalculated” and that their workers believe in a better future which they are determined to fight for. She also emphasized that Unite will use all available tools to convince the company to change course.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Tata Steel expressed disappointment at Unite’s announcement. They stated that they have notified the union twice during the ballot process and again this week about irregularities in the process. The company also mentioned that they will continue to review and consider their legal options.

Tata Steel also highlighted their efforts to support employees impacted by the proposed transformation, which include a comprehensive package announced on 22 March. Despite this, the uncertainty surrounding the future of the Port Talbot plant and its community remains a concern as the company moves towards greener practices.

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