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Health Minister meets Tata Steel in Mumbai

The Health Minister has reiterated the Welsh Government’s support for the steel industry in Wales during her meeting with Tata Steel in India earlier today (Thursday 29th February).

Eluned Morgan met Tata Steel’s global Chief Executive TV Narendran ahead of the St David’s Day celebrations in Mumbai to launch the year of Wales in India.

The purpose of the meeting was to continue conversations had between the First Minister, Economy Minister Vaughan Gething and Tata Steel following their announcement to close Port Talbot’s two blast furnaces and coke ovens in a phased manner.

The Health Minister also stressed the importance of full consideration of alternative options that the trade unions have presented and urged the company not to make any irreversible choices.

Health Minister Eluned Morgan said:

“Steel is the thread that will run through the economy of today and tomorrow and Welsh steel can play a major role in that transition. The Senedd recently passed a unanimous vote in support of maintaining blast furnace steelmaking in Port Talbot as part of a fairer, longer transition. This is the message I raised with Tata Steel here in India while urging the company to avoid irreversible actions that close off opportunities for a better, credible deal.   

“I reiterated the importance of meaningful engagement with steel trades unions and stressed the implications any proposals will have on employees in the supply chain across Wales as well as the immediate impact on Tata’s dedicated workforce.”

As part of our final budget, the Welsh Government has announced £4.75m investment in employability programmes including ReAct+, Communities for Work + and Jobs Growth Wales+, boosting an existing investment of £49m to enable us to do what we can to prevent the worst outcomes for Welsh steel communities.

These budgets are based on demand and will be prioritised to ensure workers receive effective support where needed.

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething said:

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“We urge Tata Steel and UK Government ministers to establish fresh talks to prevent the economic loss our steel communities face.

“We hope that through dialogue with the unions, parties can find a credible way forward for the business that does not require the planned loss of both blast furnaces and job losses on this eyewatering scale.”