Once again, Tata Steel has put out the collection tray. In response, the British government has filled the plate with a massive £500 million, so that the bosses can buy a new electric arc furnace.
The company is cynically painting this as a green move. But as part of this bailout, Tata is planning to cut 3,000 jobs. This includes 2,000 of the 4,000 workers at the Port Talbot site. These sackings will represent around 6% of the town’s entire population.
Tata vows that this will ‘save’ 8,000 jobs, which is laughable. What they mean is: either we’ll cut these jobs and take this state handout, or we’ll sack everyone and leave the country entirely!
Tata bosses have always used the people of Port Talbot as bargaining chips to get their hands on more taxpayer money.
Everyone in the town knows that the local steel works would be a useless heap of railway tracks and furnaces without the workers that keep things running. Yet it’s always us that have to pay for the capitalists’ constant failures.
As ever, the working class takes on all the risks, while the owners get all the rewards.
The union leaders are doing what they always do, making their usual noises. But fine words aren’t nearly enough. We need militant action to save these jobs – like that seen with the occupation at the Harland and Wolff shipyards in Belfast a few years ago.
If Tata bosses are claiming poverty as an excuse, then they need to open up the books. Show us where all the money is going!
If they can’t protect our jobs and livelihoods, then the steelworks should be nationalised immediately, under workers’ control. If Tata is having so much trouble keeping this vital industry running, then they shouldn’t be running it at all – the workers should!