LAST Monday I met with trade union representatives in Llanwern for an update on the situation at the steelworks following the devastating news in January that there would be a further round of job losses in the industry.
The majority of the 1,050 job losses will be in South Wales and include 750 in the strip-products division, and follows on from the mothballing of the hot strip mill in Llanwern last autumn. Although the overall figures for job losses in Llanwern were not announced specifically by Tata in their press release, over 200 jobs are being lost locally, including the autumn job losses and agency and contract staff.
It is clearly an extremely anxious time for the workforce and their families. And although much of the press coverage centred on the jobs being lost at Port Talbot - with the exception of the South Wales Argus - we must be relentless in highlighting the impact on Llanwern workers and the future of steelmaking locally.
The steel industry is facing unprecedented challenges. I, along with other steel MPs, will continue to take every opportunity on the floor of the House of Commons to press the Government on what more it can do to protect this vital industry of such national importance to the UK, and to us in Newport and South Wales generally.
Over the last months I have spoken in debates and questioned ministers at the despatch box on behalf of workers at Llanwern.
Steelworkers and their unions have made sacrifices over recent years and have done everything they can to help the company through tough times caused by cheap Chinese imports, falling prices, high energy costs and more.
The Welsh Government has set up a task force which met again last week to look urgently at what they can do to help - but they can only do so much. We need UK ministers to act far more quickly on the actions asked for by the industry and unions at the UK Steel Summit last year.
The Government has been too slow to act on energy costs compensation, procurement and trade policy. Along with other elected representatives at UK and Welsh level, I will continue to put pressure on ministers until this is delivered.