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Tata staff feel encouraged by the efforts to save jobs


Crunch talks: Sajid Javid

Crunch talks: Sajid Javid

AFP/Getty Images

Crunch talks: Sajid Javid

Steelworkers have been "encouraged" about efforts to save their jobs after hearing from the Business Secretary that Indian conglomerate Tata is planning to act responsibly over the sale of its UK assets.

Sajid Javid visited the giant Port Talbot steelworks just hours after flying back to the UK from meeting Tata officials to press for time over the sale of its steel plants.

He arrived at the site in a black chauffeur-driven Jaguar just before midday before he was locked in talks with workers and union officials.

The minister was driven away without making any comment.

Community union president Alan Coombs said he was encouraged by what the minister told managers and union representatives.

"At the end of the meeting, the million-dollar question was 'what guarantees have we had from Mumbai?' I was very encouraged by what he said ­- that Tata are not going to forget about their values and they are going to be responsible sellers. They are going to give the appropriate time to get a buyer in.

"There's no line in the sand when it has to be sold by. To me, that's a big plus. I don't want to work to a deadline to get someone in, although I know it can't be open-ended either. I appreciate what Tata have done for us in Port Talbot over the years, but everybody understands that Tata is not a bottomless pit and they are not continuing with it."

Belfast Telegraph