Tata talks under way but no full jobs guarantee – Reynolds

by | Jul 7, 2024 | Politics

2 hours agoBy Huw Thomas, Business Correspondent, BBC Wales News • Nick Bourne, BBC NewsThe UK government’s new business secretary has said “job guarantees” will form part of the negotiations with steel giant Tata about its Port Talbot site.Jonathan Reynolds said there was “a better deal available” on the future of the plant, but said newer technologies would employ fewer people.The previous Conservative government agreed a £500m rescue package to help keep the plant open and shift to greener production methods, but 2,800 UK jobs would still be lost.Mr Reynolds said he and Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer had already spoken to Tata and were involved in active negotiations over the Port Talbot plant’s future.”I’m going to make sure that job guarantees are part of the negotiation that we’re having,” he told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.Pressed on whether that meant he could guarantee all jobs, he responded: “Blast furnaces employ more people than some of the newer technologies available.”So there’s a range of things you have to understand but I absolutely agree with the point that we have to make sure that this is a transition which works for working people and that they’re part of that.”PA MediaMr Reynolds said the timescale for the government’s negotiations was “not a large one”.He said Labour’s manifesto had pledged £2.5bn on top of the £500m already agreed by the former government.”It’s not about underwriting loss making businesses in perhaps the way we might have thought of industrial policy in the past. It is about being a partner for investment in the future,” he said.”There is more money available for the steel industry under our plans for government, but that’s about making sure we make this transition with the private sector together and recognise how we have to make sure that decarbonisation is not de-industrialisation and we’ve got to do that together.”But there is a better deal available for Port Talbot and the steel industry as a whole – I’m sure of that.”Glimmer of hopeThe idea of future investment offers a glimmer of hope for those who are seeking to mitigate the impact of Tata’s plans.Labour had discussed supporting future investment in Port Talbot during the general election campaign, and Tata bosses had been open to the idea.But future investment will not save jobs in the short term. Even Tata Steel’s existing commitment to building an electric arc furnace next year will require far fewer workers than are currently employed in the heavy end of blast furnace production.Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham said the steel industry had been dec …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn2 hours agoBy Huw Thomas, Business Correspondent, BBC Wales News • Nick Bourne, BBC NewsThe UK government’s new business secretary has said “job guarantees” will form part of the negotiations with steel giant Tata about its Port Talbot site.Jonathan Reynolds said there was “a better deal available” on the future of the plant, but said newer technologies would employ fewer people.The previous Conservative government agreed a £500m rescue package to help keep the plant open and shift to greener production methods, but 2,800 UK jobs would still be lost.Mr Reynolds said he and Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer had already spoken to Tata and were involved in active negotiations over the Port Talbot plant’s future.”I’m going to make sure that job guarantees are part of the negotiation that we’re having,” he told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.Pressed on whether that meant he could guarantee all jobs, he responded: “Blast furnaces employ more people than some of the newer technologies available.”So there’s a range of things you have to understand but I absolutely agree with the point that we have to make sure that this is a transition which works for working people and that they’re part of that.”PA MediaMr Reynolds said the timescale for the government’s negotiations was “not a large one”.He said Labour’s manifesto had pledged £2.5bn on top of the £500m already agreed by the former government.”It’s not about underwriting loss making businesses in perhaps the way we might have thought of industrial policy in the past. It is about being a partner for investment in the future,” he said.”There is more money available for the steel industry under our plans for government, but that’s about making sure we make this transition with the private sector together and recognise how we have to make sure that decarbonisation is not de-industrialisation and we’ve got to do that together.”But there is a better deal available for Port Talbot and the steel industry as a whole – I’m sure of that.”Glimmer of hopeThe idea of future investment offers a glimmer of hope for those who are seeking to mitigate the impact of Tata’s plans.Labour had discussed supporting future investment in Port Talbot during the general election campaign, and Tata bosses had been open to the idea.But future investment will not save jobs in the short term. Even Tata Steel’s existing commitment to building an electric arc furnace next year will require far fewer workers than are currently employed in the heavy end of blast furnace production.Unite union general secretary Sharon Graham said the steel industry had been dec …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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