Tata Steel strike ballot result “comes as no surprise” says Plaid Cymru

Plaid Cymru Members of the Senedd for South Wales West have today expressed their solidarity with Tata Steel workers following a vote in favour of undertaking industrial action

Sioned Williams MS stands in front of a Unite the Union mural that reads "Save our Steel"

Luke Fletcher MS and Sioned Williams MS, Plaid Cymru Members of the Senedd for South Wales West, have expressed their solidarity with workers at Tata Steel’s plant in Port Talbot who have today voted to take strike action after the steel giant set out its intentions to press ahead with the closure of its blast furnace operations, threatening approximately 2,800 jobs.

Unite, which represents over a thousand members at the Port Talbot plant, formally notified Tata Steel of intentions to ballot for industrial action on Friday 1st March, with the ballot opening on Friday 8th March.

The ballot for strike action by Unite members closed with workers voting in favour of industrial action.

The vote to undertake strike action has been held as threats from Tata Steel to rescind financial support as part of the company’s redundancy package continue to loom large.

Responding to the result of the strike ballot, Plaid Cymru MSs for South Wales West Luke Fletcher MS and Sioned Williams MS said: “Plaid Cymru stands in complete solidarity with all the workers at this time and we stand ready to support each and every worker who needs it.

“Strike action is the last thing that any worker wants to do, but it becomes necessary when faced with the alternative: the managed decline of a vital industry and a strategic resource by private interests.

“Tata has continually made decisions and intimated towards its intentions for the plant’s future despite its ongoing consultation period with the unions.

“The company’s threats to rescind crucial financial support should redundancies ever occur is especially deplorable and shows the company’s willingness to ride roughshod over worker democracy – the refusal by unions and workers to be intimidated and coerced by this is commendable.

They added: “UK Government support of £500 million for the Port Talbot steelworks falls woefully short of the investment that countries such as France and Germany are investing in decarbonisation, which sits in the billions.

“Plaid Cymru maintains that we must see the same levels of ambition here if we are serious about the future of green, domestic steel production.”

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