Press Release

MP calls for action to support steel communities

26th January 2009

Aberavon MP Dr Hywel Francis has urged joint Government, Employers and Union action to support steel workers, their families and their communities following the announcement of 2500 job losses in the British steel industry.

Dr Francis said,

'As MP for a steel constituency I deeply sympathise with all those steel workers and their families who have been affected by the Corus announcement and I agree with our Prime Minister Gordon Brown that it is to be regretted that the decision has been made.'

'Whilst I am relieved that there are no redundancies announced at the Port Talbot plant in my constituency, the major losses at Llanwern, Shotton, Pontardulais, Ammanford and Caerphilly totaling 1100 jobs are really serious blows to those Welsh communities.'

Dr Francis added,

'As chair of the Welsh Affairs Committee and secretary of the Parliamentary Group of the Steel Union Community I shall be urging the Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Skills Secretary John Denham to work with the Welsh Assembly Government, Corus and the steel unions to secure the long-term future of the Welsh steel industry.'

'I will also be working with the All Party Parliamentary Steel Group to ensure that critical skills are maintained within the industry and that every effort should be made to avoid compulsory redundancies.'

'Every effort should also be made to upskill the existing workforce and reskill those made redundant in order to prepare for the upturn in the economy and to help build the newly emerging green economy such as the bringing forward of the Severn Barrage.'

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