Wales

Tata workers need commitment, Carwyn Jones says

Port Talbot steelworks Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Port Talbot alone employs more than 4,000 workers

Tata would need to show a long term commitment to steel-making in Wales if it reverses its decision to sell, First Minister Carwyn Jones has said.

There has been speculation that Tata might decide not to sell its UK plants.

It follows a narrowing of losses and an offer of UK Government help over pensions.

Mr Jones said: "For me it's about having somebody there who's going to put in the investment and be committed to the future of steelmaking in Wales."

Tata Steel announced in March it wanted to sell and is still in the process of considering bids for its UK business.

It involves 11,000 jobs and plants, including Port Talbot, Llanwern, Trostre and Shotton.

Speaking to BBC's The Wales Report, Mr Jones said it was not about who ran the steel industry in Wales but the commitment they would show.

"What we wouldn't want to see is for Tata to continue, the pensions issue to be dealt with and then two or three years down the line, the threat is still there," he said.

'Certainty'

But he said that if Tata turned around and said it wanted to keep the UK business "obviously they'd have to convince the workers at the Welsh plants that that is a long-term commitment and they would have to give certain guarantees to make sure that is the case".

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Media captionSteelworkers past and present at Port Talbot are worried about what changes to Tata pensions could mean

Mr Jones, who met with bosses at the Indian company in Mumbai last week, said it had a good reputation.

"Their reputation means something to them - they are not some sort of here today, gone tomorrow company.

"What we don't want is for them to say 'we'll stay for now and we'll look at it in two or three years' time'.

"That doesn't give the certainty that our workers need."

The Wales Report is on BBC One Wales at 22:40 BST on Wednesday 1 June and later on the BBC iPlayer

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