THOUSANDS OF JOBS AT RISK – Largest steelworks in the UK  presses  ahead with plans to close blast furnaces in Port Talbot

Steel giant Tata is to press ahead with plans to close blast furnaces at its plant in Port Talbot, south Wales, putting more than 3,000 jobs at risk, sources have said.

Unions were meeting the company on Thursday after presenting alternative proposals aimed at saving jobs in Port Talbot.

Sources said Tata rejected the plan and was pressing ahead with proposals for a greener form of steelmaking to cut emissions and stem financial losses.

The steelworkers’ union Community had urged Tata to reconsider its plans to move Port Talbot to an electric arc furnace-only site.

The so-called multi-union plan was put forward by the GMB and Community unions under which Tata Steel could have transitioned Port Talbot toward greener steelmaking over a longer timeline.

Under the plan, there would have been no compulsory redundancies and Britain’s domestic steel supply would have been protected – avoiding reliance on imports from countries such as India while the electric arc furnace is built.

The Port Talbot plant is the largest steelworks in the UK and currently employs 4,000 of the company’s 8,000-strong UK workforce. The move would see 75 percent of workers lose their jobs.