28 June 2024
by Sarah Morgan

Tata begins legal action against Port Talbot strike

Tata says they have been ‘forced’ to begin legal action against the validity of Unite's recent strike ballot. Unite remain defiant.

Blast furnace at Port Talbot steelworks © Tata Steel

A Tata Steel spokesperson says, “Following the announcement by Unite Union to unilaterally call strike action from 8 July, Tata Steel is unfortunately forced to commence legal action to challenge the validity of Unite’s ballot.'

The spokesperson continues, ‘In the coming days, if we cannot be certain that we are able to continue to safely and stably operate our assets through the period of strike action, we will not have any choice but to pause or stop heavy end operations (including both blast furnaces) on the Port Talbot site. That is not a decision we would take lightly’.

The company again called for Unite to withdraw its industrial action and join Community and GMB unions in considering the company’s proposed Memorandum of Understanding

Responding to Tata’s statement Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, says, ‘Unite is fighting for the future of the steel industry. We have secured serious investment from Labour to safeguard jobs. 

‘Tata putting out a statement to shut or pause its blast furnaces three months earlier than they intended to is the latest In a long line of threats that won't deter us.

‘The Unite campaign is not about selling jobs, it’s about securing the long-term future of steelmaking in this country for thousands of workers in Port Talbot and South Wales.

‘We call on the real decision-makers in Mumbai to take hold of this dispute, sit down, negotiate and realise that the investment secured will be good for the company and workers.’

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