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Business Secretary Greg Clark visits under-threat Port Talbot steelworks

Published 20/07/2016

New Business Secretary Greg Clark met workers and union officials at the Tata steel plant in Port Talbot
New Business Secretary Greg Clark met workers and union officials at the Tata steel plant in Port Talbot

The new Business Secretary has met workers at a steel plant which still has doubts over its long-term future.

Steel giant Tata has halted plans to sell the huge site in South Wales and is working on keeping its UK business as part of a joint venture with German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp.

Greg Clark, the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, visited the Port Talbot works on Wednesday and met workers and union officials, including Roy Rickhuss, general secretary of Community.

Mr Rickhuss said: "I am encouraged that Greg Clark has met with steelworkers in his first week on the job. He will have left today in no doubt that Community will keep the pressure on this Government to keep their promises to protect the steel industry.

"The new Secretary of State clearly understands the scale of the challenge still facing the industry, but his words to steelworkers today must be followed by firm actions to help save their jobs. By visiting Port Talbot, he will have seen first-hand that the highly skilled workforce is the foundation on which any success for this industry will be built.

"Although today's meeting was in South Wales, the Secretary of State appreciates that steel is a UK-wide industry and that the current challenges affect all steel plants and all companies.

"We welcome the renewed desire to put industrial strategy at the heart of Government and I was pleased that Greg Clark today signalled his intention to involve trade unions in that important process."

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