Labour today met with senior representatives of Tata Steel to discuss the future of the UK steel industry.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Angela Eagle MP met with Koushik Chatterjee, Group Executive Director of Tata Steel and Bimlendra Jha, Chief Executive Officer of Tata Steel UK in Westminster this morning, along with representatives of the steel unions Community, GMB and Unite.
Tata Steel announced their plans to sell their entire UK business in March. Since then Labour has been working to secure the future of UK steel making.
The constructive discussions focused on the sale process and the future of the industry. John McDonnell and Angela Eagle stressed the importance of ensuring sufficient time for a suitable buyer to be found. They also discussed the changes needed to ensure the sustainable future of the UK steel industry, including action on energy, business rates, and the British Steel Pension Scheme.
All parties agreed the need to find a resolution to the pension issue which both protected workers and pensioners, and supported the sale process and the future sustainability of the business.
Steel is a foundation industry. It is vital for UK manufacturing and it supports 40,000 jobs across the country. Labour will continue to push the Government to do what is necessary to save our steel industry.
John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor said:
“We had a positive meeting today with the management of TATA Steel and we are both agreed on working together to protect the jobs and pensions of UK steelworkers.
“The steel sector is a vital part of the UK economy and Labour will keep the pressure on this Tory Government while providing them with a legitimate alternative like Labour’s Four Point Plan to Save Our Steel Industry.”
Angela Eagle MP, Shadow First Secretary of State and Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills said:
“We are determined to work in partnership with Tata Steel and the steel unions to secure the future of this vital foundation industry. We also welcome Tata Steel’s commitments to being a responsible seller.
“Steel can have a bright future if we take the right decisions now. We’ll keep the pressure up on the Tory Government to do what is necessary to save our steel.”