Tata Steel: Hundreds of workers protest as job cuts loom

Tata Steel workers at a protest march in Aberavon
About 400 people gathered at Aberavon seafront in Port Talbot on Saturday

Hundreds of Tata Steel workers have held a protest march as the threat of job losses looms over thousands of their colleagues.

About 400 people marched along Aberavon seafront in Port Talbot on Saturday morning as uncertainty swirls around the future of the town's steelworks.

Unions claim Tata planned to close the bulk of its operations there.

The firm was due to make a statement on the future of the plant earlier this month, but that has been postponed.

Paul Taylor, 42, who has worked at Tata for 24 years, said the impact would be "terrible" if jobs were lost or the plant - the UK's biggest steelworks - is closed.

Joined at the protest by his wife, Melanie, and their two children, he said "lives will be lost" because of the mental health impact and uncertainty.

Paul and Melanie Taylor, with their two children, at the Tata Steel protest
Paul and Melanie Taylor, with their two children, took part in the protest

Protesters paused their demonstration to mark Armistice Day with a two-minute silence.

Krystle Lloyd, 41, who was at the protest to support her husband, a steelworker, said job cuts would have a massive impact on the whole community, including self-employed people such as her friend's husband, a gas engineer, and the amount of work he would get.

Alun Davies, from the Community Union, said there was going to be a meeting between unions and Tata on Friday, which is when Tata's plans are due to be presented.

Hundreds of protesters march along Aberavon seafront in Port Talbot
Protesters march along Aberavon seafront in Port Talbot

He said Tata's plans "would decimate this area and annihilate all the local businesses because they wouldn't have money to spend".

"It shouldn't be about money, this is about the community and the people within it - that's what we're fighting for," he added.

"Steelmaking's been here for more than 120 years and Tata need to wake up and listen before it's too late."

Tata said it was still "not in a position to make a formal announcement about any proposals for a transition to a decarbonised future for Tata Steel UK".