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Minister holds ‘extremely positive’ talks with unions over Tata Steel jobs

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Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds met with trade unions including Community, Unite and GMB to discuss transitioning the steel industry to greener methods while safeguarding jobs

Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds held talks with union leaders this morning(Anadolu via Getty Images)

Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds held “positive” talks with union leaders working to protect thousands of jobs in South Wales’ Tata Steel plants.

Mr Reynolds met with leaders from trade unions including Community, Unite and GMB on Wednesday to discuss how to transition the steel industry to greener production methods while safeguarding jobs.




Ahead of the talks, Mr Reynolds said: “I invited steel union leaders into my department so we could sit round the table and discuss our shared commitment to achieve a sustainable, profitable UK steel industry. Decarbonisation does not mean deindustrialisation, and I will be working to safeguard jobs as part of these negotiations, securing the future of steelmaking communities for generations to come.”

Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales(PA)

In January, Tata confirmed it would close blast furnaces at its Port Talbot plant, which could lead to 2,800 job losses. Keir Starmer described the future of Tata Steel as being of “great concern” during a visit to on Monday.

The Labour governments in Wales and Westminster are pushing Tata not to pursue any compulsory redundancies, with promises of £3 billion in extra funding for the steel industry in the UK. Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham said Wednesday’s talks had been “extremely positive.”

She said: “It is clear that the new secretary of state for business understands the need to secure the future of steelmaking in Britain. The commitment given to achieving a sustainable, profitable UK steel industry is very welcome and as was said this morning, decarbonisation must not mean deindustrialisation.

She added: “In recent months, Unite has been fighting to save jobs at Tata and to revitalise the UK steel industry for the future of communities and for our national security. We are at a critical first stage but the extra investment now secured and the change of attitude from this new Labour government could be the game changers in making this happen.”

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