Port Talbot steelworks back in profit

24 August 2016

Hard work by the remaining steelworkers, and a global rise in the price of steel, has pushed Port Talbot steelworks back into profit.

The news will be welcome in the town but the plant’s troubles are far from over.

At the height of the steel crisis earlier this year, when China was dumping cheap steel on Europe, Tata claimed to be losing £1million a day at its Port Talbot works.

That led to the plant being put up for sale and 750 workers being made redundant. But following the Brexit vote and a fall in the value of sterling, Tata pulled back from the sale and said it was exploring other possibilities, including a merger with its European operation.

In the meantime, the 4,000 workers remaining at the plant have made a superhuman effort to meet production targets to safeguard the future of the plant, leading to some claims that corners were being cut in health and safety.

The profit posted, however, is not large enough to turn things around, with City AM reporting that the works would need to make monthly profits of as much as £20million to be sustainable.

A spokesman for steelworkers’ union Community said: “UK steelworkers are helping turn the tide in this steel crisis, but their biggest challenges may still lie ahead. Thousands of families are still in the dark about their future and what Tata has planned for the business.”

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