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Nearly 3,000 jobs at risk at Britain’s biggest steelworks despite government support package

LONDON (AP) — About 3,000 workers at Britain’s largest steelworks face the possibility of losing their jobs Friday as part of a government-backed package to “green” the plant.

In an announcement, the British government confirmed widespread speculation that it would pump up to 500 million pounds ($620 million) into the Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales.

Tata, the Indian conglomerate that owns the steelworks, will use the funding to help convert the plant’s two coal-fired blast furnaces into electric arc versions that can run on zero-carbon electricity.

Treasury chief Jeremy Hunt said, “This proposal is a historic moment to keep UK steel production running, support sustainable economic growth, cut emissions and create green jobs.”

Tata, which employs about 8,000 people across the UK, will also invest about £750 million in the project, but warned that the plans involve a “deep potential restructuring” leading to job losses – code discussed Will go.

In a separate statement on Friday, Britain’s Department of Trade and Commerce said the deal would protect only 5,000 jobs out of Tata’s total workforce.

Tata said the deal outlines the future of sustainable steelmaking in the region and is committed to “meaningful” consultation with unions.

Chief Executive and Managing Director of Tata Steel said, “With the support of the UK Government and all stakeholders, as well as the dedicated efforts of Tata Steel UK employees, we are committed to transforming Tata Steel UK into a green, modern, future-ready business.” Will work for.” Director, TV Narendran.

The deal comes two months after Tata confirmed plans to build a £4 billion battery factory in the UK after receiving subsidies from the government.

Unions were angry over potential job losses.

“The cost to local people and the wider Port Talbot community will be huge,” said Gary Smith, general secretary of the GMB trade union. “Once again, we have leaders talking up the imaginary land of ‘just transition’ while the harsh reality for workers is that they are being fired.”

The £1.25 billion furnace is expected to be up and running within three years of receiving regulatory and planning approval.

Tata warned last year that its UK operations were at risk unless it found government funding to help it move to less carbon-intensive electric arc furnaces.

Luke Murphy, head of the fair transition unit at the Institute for Public Policy Research think tank, said the government had “ignored or abandoned” the interests of unions and workers.

“The use of coal in steelmaking must end but this seems like a bad deal for workers, the wider community in Port Talbot and the UK,” he said.

He said Germany has invested more than $53 billion in decarbonizing heavy industry and is committed to working with unions and protecting jobs.

“The UK has nothing like the scale of this commitment and has done nothing to make conditions more favorable for investment,” he said.

Source: www.bing.com

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