Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood will today visit Port Talbot to meet steel workers affected by the crisis currently facing their industry in light of Tata’s decision to sell its UK operations.
Leanne Wood will join local Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Bethan Jenkins to meet workers, listen to their experiences and concerns, and to take on board their calls for action by elected representatives.
Ahead of the visit to Port Talbot, Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said:
“I will be in Port Talbot today to listen and to show that Plaid Cymru stands with out steel workers. Plaid Cymru has put forward our proposals to support the steel industry and help Tata survive in difficult economic times, and we need governments on all levels to act.
“Inaction and indifference by governments at both ends of the M4 mean that months of lost time have gone by in which decisive action could have been taken.
“When Plaid Cymru called for governments to consider entering into a joint venture with the company back in January, this echoed the hopes of many members of the steel community, but it was dismissed by Labour and the Tories alike.
“I want to hear directly from those who have been affected by this crisis and to learn from their experiences. Their hopes and ideas for securing the future of this important industry must be at the heart of the debate when the Assembly is recalled on Monday.”
Local Plaid Cymru Assembly Member for South Wales West, Bethan Jenkins added:
“There is a raft of proposals that have come from Plaid Cymru and elsewhere, aimed at not only keeping the works running but turning it around and transforming it into world class facility worthy of the abilities of its workforce, but no one has picked up the ball and run with it.
“We’ve suggested Welsh Government capital funding for the construction of the new power station – something that would immediately benefit the site’s running costs. We’ve called for the drawing down of significant European funding that would modernise the plant and stimulate research and development. We’ve called for business rates relief, and National Insurance contribution holidays.
“Instead, the Welsh Government is acting like a rabbit caught in headlights while the UK Government appears to be actively working to close Port Talbot. If it goes, it will further damage our economy – not just the economy of Port Talbot or South West Wales, but of all Wales and all of the UK. Make no mistake – steel is strategic, and our children will suffer the consequences if we don’t act now.”