1st Time In 40 Years: Tata Steel Workers In UK Announce Strike Against Firing 2800 Employees


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Jun 22, 2024


In a significant escalation of labor unrest, around 1,500 Tata Steel workers based in Port Talbot and Llanwern, Wales, are set to initiate “all-out indefinite strike action” starting from July 8. This move comes in response to Tata Steel’s contentious decision to cut 2,800 jobs and close its blast furnaces, a plan that has sparked widespread discontent among the workforce.

1st Time In 40 Years: Tata Steel Workers In UK Announce Strike Against Firing 2800 Employees

Unite Union’s Stand

Unite the Union, representing the affected workers, underscored the gravity of the situation, emphasizing that this marks the first time in over four decades that UK steelworkers have taken such drastic action against Tata Steel UK. The union condemned Tata’s plans as “disastrous” and asserted that the strike action aims to halt these measures that threaten both jobs and the future of the steel industry in Wales.

Motivation Behind the Strike

According to Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, the strikes are not merely about job security but also about safeguarding the communities reliant on the steel industry. She expressed unwavering support for the workers, framing the strikes as a historic battle to preserve Welsh steel and secure a promising future for the sector.

Political and Public Support

The Opposition Labour Party has aligned itself with the striking workers, advocating for Tata Steel to suspend its restructuring plans until after the upcoming July 4 general election. Labour has pledged GBP 3 billion for UK steel if elected, a commitment secured with Unite’s backing. Emergency talks between Labour and Tata Steel have been prioritized to address the ongoing crisis.

Tata Steel’s Response

Tata Steel has expressed disappointment over the impending strike action, calling on Unite to reconsider and suspend the strikes. The company defended its restructuring efforts, highlighting a GBP 1.25-billion investment to transition to Electric Arc Furnace technology at its Port Talbot facility. This transformation, Tata claims, will secure 5,000 jobs, reduce CO2 emissions by 5 million tonnes annually, and generate additional employment opportunities in engineering and construction sectors.

Looking Ahead

The standoff between Tata Steel and its workforce underscores deep-seated concerns over job losses, community impacts, and the future trajectory of the steel industry in Wales. As the strike unfolds, both sides are gearing up for a protracted battle with significant implications for the region’s economic landscape and industrial relations


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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