Strikes called off at Welsh steelworks after owner changed closure date

Business

A planned strike at the Port Talbot steelworks has been suspended.

The Unite union is suspending its industrial action, it said, after the news on Thursday that the Indian conglomerate owner, Tata, would close the site earlier than first announced in response.

The closure date is now 7 July, the day before the previously planned strike and roughly two months before the September timeline originally announced to close the final blast furnace in which steel is made.

Up to 2,800 jobs are to be lost – 2,500 in the next year, and a further 300 in three years despite a £500m taxpayer cash injection to support the site’s transition to cheaper, greener steel production to cut emissions.

The first steel blast furnace was due to close at the end of June in a push to reduce carbon emissions at what is the UK’s single largest source of CO2.

The previous fossil-fuel-powered blast furnaces are being replaced by a single electric arc furnace.

Tata has been contacted for comment.

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