Tata Steel may have to sell Trostre plant

Tata Steel may have to sell one of its Welsh plants in order to get approval for a proposed merger with German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp.

The Trostre steel plant in Llanelli, Carmarthenshire, could be sold after the European Commission has said it is investigating the merger proposal over concerns it could lead to less choice for customers.

However, union Unite, said that any sale of Tata’s packaging plants must be “done responsibly” and in full consultation with what is the UK’s largest manufacturing union.

Unite’s national officer for steel, Tony Brady said: “We are aware that the European Commission is likely to order Tata Steel to sell some of its packaging operations so that the much needed joint venture with ThyssenKrupp gets the green light.

“Unite is monitoring the situation and engaging with Tata Steel as we seek to ensure that workers are not left high and dry or subject to any fire sale as a result of a European Commission ruling.

“Workers are a business’ most important asset and it is vital during this process that Tata Steel continues to act transparently and as a responsible seller should it be ordered to offload parts of its UK operations.

“Anything less would be a kick in the teeth for a workforce that has worked tirelessly and with great sacrifice to keep the UK’s steel industry alive.”

Tata Steel said it had submitted a “comprehensive package of proposed solutions”, with Thyssenkrupp, to the European Commission as part of the process to get clearance for the joint venture.

A Tata spokesperson said: “Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp are committed to following due process with the directorate-general for competition to seek approval for the proposed joint venture of their European steel businesses.

“Both companies are committed to working closely with all relevant regulators to ensure the success of this transaction.”

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