At the primary roundabout outdoors Port Talbot steelworks, union reps and people on their lunch break gathered holding a banner: “British Steel – Back It or Lose It!”
Some 4,000 are employed by Tata Steel right here, greater than 12% of the city’s whole inhabitants.
One of them is Greg Coggins, who has labored for Tata in South Wales for 14 years.
Wearing a tough hat and soiled overalls – he instructed me simply how important this place is to the group.
“Without the steelworks behind us here – there is no Port Talbot,” he mentioned.
“This town, this area, south Wales, relies on this place, not just this place, there are so many jobs… so many jobs.”
He welcomed the federal government’s £500m bundle – however mentioned there’s uncertainty amongst his co-workers about what going inexperienced means for his or her jobs.
“In the middle of a cost-of-living crisis at the moment, people are worried,” he mentioned.
“There’s so many people working here, it’s not just employees inside, it’s the people supporting us, delivery drivers, there’d be such a knock-on effect if anything was to happen to this plant.”
Government plan not as inexperienced because it sounds – union rep
His union rep, Barrie Evans, mentioned the federal government’s plan to alter coal-burning furnaces to electrical ones just isn’t as inexperienced because it sounds as a result of different metal would then have to be imported.
“We all understand we’ve got to decarbonise and go green but unfortunately at the cost of jobs – we can’t support that,” he mentioned.
“It’s not going green if we’re importing coils from China, halfway round the ocean, on a diesel ship.”
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The staff listed here are paid effectively, and far of that cash flows into the city a mile up the highway.
On the excessive road, reporters had been attempting to gauge response to at this time’s announcement from locals who’re all too used to uncertainty behind their largest employer.
Concerns over job losses
We met Carol Rock having espresso outdoors Cafe Fresco – she’s lived right here all her life and worries about what large job losses would imply.
She mentioned: “It’s essential to Port Talbot because it would be like a ghost town, there’d be nothing here – only the works we’ve got. Where they going to get jobs?”
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Her buddy Jeanette added: “I think things would close down very, very quickly.”
If there have been large job losses, I requested. “Yes, unfortunately.”