This week, Tata Steel announced that it would close its Orb site in Newport which is part of the steel maker’s Cogent arm and employs approximately 380 people. This shocking decision was made without proper consultation with workers and will have a major impact on the local community and its economy.

Luis Colunga, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, said:
“This decision by Tata Steel is completely unacceptable. The trade unions had previously agreed a job guarantee with the company and this makes a mockery of any genuine social dialogue between the company and trade unions.

‘’We completely oppose forced plant closures and involuntary redundancies and we urge the UK Government to intervene to protect the UK’s only electrical steel plant which is critical for the production of electric vehicles.’’

Today, industriAll Europe General Secretary Luc Triangle sent a joint letter of solidarity to the metal workers along with industriALL Global General Secretary Valter Sanches. It says:

‘’We are writing to you on behalf of industriAll European Trade Union and IndustriALL Global Union, both representing millions of workers in mining, energy and manufacturing industries both in Europe and worldwide, to express our full support and solidarity with workers following Tata Steel’s announcement that it will close its Cogent business in Newport and its Wolverhampton Engineering steel business.

‘’Following the abandoned joint venture with Thyssenkrupp Steel, we were aware that the future of all Tata Steel sites would be revisited, and we know that intense talks between management and trade unions were underway. Therefore, we share your shock and anger that Tata has decided to close these businesses which is not in line with any previously agreed jobs guarantee. The fact that the decision was made without proper consultation is completely unacceptable and we stand with you in opposing plant closures and compulsory redundancies.

‘’Furthermore, industriAll Europe and IndustriALL Global Union stand with you in demanding that the UK government intervenes. As the UK’s only producer of electrical steel, which is crucial in the production of electric vehicles, it would be a big mistake for the UK Government not to protect this important and strategic plant.

‘’IndustriAll Europe and IndustriALL Global Union are fully committed to supporting your struggle to keep the Cogent business in Newport and its Wolverhampton Engineering steel business in operation to protect jobs.

‘Stay strong, you are not alone.’’

Notes to the editor

  1. Press release from Unite the Union (UK).
  2. Press release and article on the electric cars from Community Union (UK).