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‘Half A Billion Pounds To Make 3,000 Unemployed’: Job Cut Fears From Port Talbot State Aid Deal – Business Live

Introduction: Job loss fears at Port TalbotGood morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, the financial markets and the world economy.

The spectre of possible job losses is stalking Britain’s biggest steelworkers today, as the UK government and Tata Steel close in on an agreement to secure the future of the site.

The Port Talbot steelworks in south Wales is home to two of Britain’s four remaining blast furnaces, employing around 4,000 workers.

After months of talks, the government and the Indian-owned company are thought to be close to announcing an aid package to help Port Talbot transition to produce “greener” steel, possibly as soon as today.

That could include a £500m aid package from the UK, with Tata providing around £700m, to switch the plant’s two coal-fired blast furnaces to electric arc versions. They would be less polluting and run on zero-carbon electricity.

But the shift could still lead to hefty job losses, with unions angry that they have been locked out of the talks.

Charlotte Brumpton-Childs, GMB national officer, said:

“Government intervention in the steel industry is long overdue, but imposing a program without proper worker consultation is unacceptable.

“GMB has urged ministers and Tata Steel to have a longer-term view on the decarbonisation of steel.

“It is not a just transition if thousands of jobs are sacrificed in the name of short-term environmental gains.

“We wholeheartedly support the move to modernise and decarbonise the industry, in fact we have sought this type of investment for years.

“But ignoring technologies outside of electric arc furnaces will mean tens of thousands of people will lose their livelihoods.”

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch and Welsh Secretary David TC Davies are expected to visit the South Wales site today to announce the deal.

But The Mirror newspaper is reporting that at least 2,000 jobs could be lost at Port Talbot, in a devastating blow to the local economy.

The agenda 7.45am BST: French inflation report for August

10am BST: Eurozone trade balance for July

2.15pm BST: US industrial production data for August

3pm BST: US consumer confidence report from the University of Michigan

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