Plaid’s political games placing TATA future under threat
Welsh Conservatives have warned Plaid Cymru that ‘political posturing’ could place the future of the Welsh steel industry at risk.
Leader of the Welsh Conservatives – Andrew RT Davies – raised the issue during First Minister’s Questions today, when he challenged the First Minister to restate his endorsement of the pension deal that would secure the future of around 7,000 jobs in Wales*.
In recent days, senior Welsh nationalists have called on TATA’s workers to reject the deal. But Mr Davies warned that the deal remains the only offer on the table.
Speaking outside the Senedd this Afternoon, he urged Plaid AMs to think carefully before ‘playing politics’:
“The Welsh nationalists should think very, very carefully before playing politics with 7,000 jobs and a situation that could escalate very quickly indeed.
“It’s fine for Adam Price and Bethan Jenkins to call on the workers to reject this deal – but they’re not going to step in and secure an alternative to the loss of thousands of jobs.
“We must not underestimate the gravity of the decision facing workers, who are being asked to make a calculated sacrifice to secure their long-term livelihoods.
“I don’t doubt how difficult that is. But what we must not do is allow political opportunism to compromise the future of the steel industry.”
Mr Davies added:
“Plaid’s political posturing risks putting the future of the steel industry at risk.
“Ultimately, as the First Minister conceded today, there is no plan B and there are no other options on the horizon that could secure the future of Welsh steel.
“That’s why it’s so important that the First Minister once again provided an unequivocal endorsement of the deal – because the future of 7,000 jobs across Wales is at stake.”
*From the Record of Proceedings, the First Minister (During FMQs) endorsed the TATA pension deal:
[Inaudible.]—yes, I endorse the deal. I think it’s a very good deal, compared particularly to where we were in the spring, when the situation was particularly bleak for steel—the heavy-end steel making in Port Talbot. And it is a tribute to all the hard work that’s been put in by many, many people that we are in a situation now where Port Talbot particularly can look forward. And certainly, I think this deal is a deal that I can certainly endorse and a deal that can provide a future for the plant.