Plaid Cymru responds to TATA Steel ballot result

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Plaid Cymru Assembly Members Bethan Jenkins and Adam Price have responded to the result of the ballot undertaken by TATA Steel workers.

Assembly Member Bethan Jenkins, Plaid Cymru's spokesperson on Steel and the elected member for the South Wales West region in which the Port Talbot plant is located, said:

"There is no doubt the package of proposals with which workers was presented was stark, and seen as a choice between their job or their pension. With today's result, the workforce has made its sacrifice for future workers. Now is the time for the Welsh and UK Governments to step up and demonstrate their commitment to steelworkers and the industry.

"Such a demonstration should include action on energy costs, and investment in a local power plant and a Steel Research and Development Centre.

"The industry also needs a cast-iron guarantee on public procurement whereby local steel is prioritised in infrastructure developments."

Plaid Cymru's Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Adam Price, added:

"The Tory UK Government must now urgently amend the "low priority" grading it has given an industry worth £3billion annually to the Welsh economy. An extreme hard Brexit or World Trade Organisation rules would not be good for the Welsh steel industry, and Plaid Cymru will be insisting the industry is protected from cheap and unfair competition.

"The last-minute concessions negotiated by the unions was no mean feat given that many argued Tata was in no mood to compromise further when some of us called for changes to the plan announced before Christmas. Those changes came, Tata improved its offer, and the Unions ultimately supported the package. This undoubtedly assisted workers to reach a decision.

"Having recently met with the local management, it is evident they have a clear vision and plan of action for a sustainable steel sector in Wales and the UK. Plaid Cymru will support them and the workforce in every way we can as they set about growing this hugely important industry."

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