Port Talbot steelworks, photo Grubb (Creative Commons)

Port Talbot steelworks, photo Grubb (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Alec Thraves

Tata Steel’s UK assets are officially up for sale. Investment bankers and vulture capitalists are eyeing up any profitable pickings while at the same time willing to throw thousands of workers and their communities onto the scrapheap.

That is why the Socialist Party’s demand for nationalisation of Tata Steel has received such an overwhelming amount of support in our steel communities.

Over the past couple of weeks thousands of leaflets demanding nationalisation have been eagerly snapped up and hundreds of copies of the Socialist sold to workers who have no faith in the private sector to save their jobs and livelihoods.

In the steel communities across South Wales on 9 April, our members, armed with our front page demanding ‘Nationalise Steel’, sold 70 copies of the Socialist in Port Talbot, 50 in Swansea, 40 in Newport, and 32 in Llanelli.

While there is understandably a certain feeling of relief by the sale of Tata’s Scunthorpe plant to the ‘investment firm’ Greybull Capital, this breakup of Tata comes with a 3% pay cut, attacks on the workers’ pension scheme and an uncertain future in the hands of a ruthless company.

That sale will be of no comfort to the workers in Port Talbot where the only interest shown from the private sector has been Sanjeev Gupta and his Liberty House company, a minnow businessman who admitted that his business plan was written on the back of an envelope! His precondition for even considering a bid is the closure of the blast furnaces in order to change the steelworks into a plant that recycles scrap metal – the biggest scrap dealer in Europe!

That is why nationalisation is the only guarantee to secure the steel industry in Britain and the tens of thousands of jobs that rely on it.

Steel jobs meme

Steel jobs meme   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

NSSN Nationalise Tata – Keep the Furnaces Firing public meetings

  • Port Talbot: 7.30pm 13 April, Grand Hotel (opposite train station)
  • Llanelli (joint with Llanelli Trades Council): 7.00pm 20 April, Queen Victoria Club, Queen Victoria Road, SA15 2TL. Speakers include a Trostre steelworker