Steel Crisis: Javid To Face Harbour Talbot Workers

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 8:28 AM

The visit comes amid criticism of the Government's response to the Tata Steel crisis, which threatens up to 40.000 British jobs.

Steel Crisis: Javid To Face Harbour Talbot Workers

Business Secretary Sajid Javid will meet Harbour Talbot steelworkers later to insist the Government is working towards a "sustainable future" for the crisis-hit steel industry.

The visit comes amid intense criticism of the Cabinet minister'south response to a decision by Indian conglomerate Tata Steel to sell its UK assets, putting as many as 40.000 British jobs at risk.

after it emerged he took his daughter on an official visit to Australia while the crisis was playing out in Mumbai.

Mister Javid has slice brief his Sydney visit, and insists the Government is "working hard" to discover a long-term solution for Harbour Talbot and the steel industry.

He'll meet workers and management at Harbour Talbot today, along with members of the Welsh Government and trade unions.

"I'm going to Harbour Talbot to meet staff and management, who are understandably extremely anxious about their future," Mister Javid said ahead of the meeting.

"I'll hear to them, and I wish to reassure them myself that the Government is on their side in working tough to attain a long-term solution for them, for the region and for the wider UK steel industry.

"Whilst we can't modify the status of the global steel market, we can and are playing a positive role in securing a sustainable future."

Mister Javid will promise to deliver a cross-Whitehall response to the crisis, working with Treasury minister Lord O'Neill, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Letwin and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns to discover a buyer for Tata Steel's assets.

But trade union Community said steelworkers will be "shocked" at the length of time it's taken the Government to reply to Tata Steel's decision.

A spokesman for the union said: "Steelworkers across the country will be shocked that it's taken this long for the Government to finally wake up to the crisis facing our steel industry.

"Community, the steelworkers' union, has always been keen to work constructively with government, but Sajid Javid cannot simply come at Harbour Talbot and read out his list of 'achievements' - this week'south news is proof that Government action thus distant has been woefully inadequate.

"The Government should commit to safeguarding the skills and assets of Britain’s steel industry. The UK simply cannot afford to lose our steelmaking capacity."

On Thursday, to resolve the steel crisis, but added that nationalisation isn't the solution.

Speaking after an emergency ministerial meeting in Downing Street, the PM defended his decision not to send ministers to a crunch meeting of Tata Steel executives in India on Tuesday - insisting the Government had worked on a map "for months".

"We're not ruling anything out - I don't believe nationalisation is the right answer," he said.

"It's a challenging situation - there can be number guarantees of success because of the problems that the steel industry faces worldwide.

"But the Government will do everything it can to help, working with the company, working with the communities, to attempt to safe the future of this vital steel-making in Harbour Talbot and elsewhere in the UK."

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