STAFF at Newport's Orb Electrical Steels have spoken of their shock and disappointment at the plant's proposed closure, whilst being praised for their professionalism by a union representative.

Two days after Tata confirmed a closure plan for the site - after details were leaked on Sunday - anger and disappointment remain the prime emotions among staff.

Some spoke to the Argus today as a delegation of officials from the union Community - led by general secretary Roy Rickhuss - dropped in to offer support.

Community represents around 90 per cent of the workforce.

For Ben Jenkins, Ricky Evans, Lewis Parr, Leighton Marasco, and Ryan Godsall, all of Newport, the implications are still sinking in.

"Morale is pretty low, as you'd imagine, and nothing much in the way of information is being passed on at the moment," said Mr Evans, who has worked at Orb for 14 years.

"We're disappointed we found out at the weekend through media outlets, and were even more disappointed to find out that even the union didn't know about it.

"Everyone's wondering what's going to happen, whether there's any prospect of jobs for instance at Port Talbot, although nothing is certain anywhere in the steel industry."

Manufacturing trainees Mr Parr, Mr Marasco and Mr Godsall said they have only worked at Orb for a year.

"It is unfortunate because they've been here such a short time," said Mr Evans.

"They're doing really well, it was looking good for the likes of these boys, but then this was dropped on us."

For Mr Jenkins, who has worked at Orb for five years, the closure announcement comes at a difficult time when he and his partner are having to look for new accommodation.

"She has just graduated and is working, but this is going to make it very hard for us to get a new place," he said.

Paul Horton, a Community official at Orb, said people "are being very professional" despite the shock of the closure announcement.

"As the reality sinks in, it has got quite subdued in there," he said.

"People are wanting to know the finer details, and we are about to start working on that."

Brett Williams, another Community official at Orb, said Tata's handling of the announcement "showed disdain towards workforce".

"Tata now need to look after everyone here, particularly the younger ones. If they can't guarantee jobs for them, there is something very wrong.

"If keeping site open is not an option, they need to give these young men a job."

Mr Rickhuss said "there is a strong argument that with the right investment and vision, this business can be successful".

"We are fighting for livelihoods, trying to keep the works open," he said.

"We don't want to be in a position in the future when we are importing electrical steel and people say 'why don't we make it in the UK?' That would be a backward step for the UK economy.

"We have a relatively short period of time to try to put forward an argument to Tata, Westminster and the Welsh Government that this plant is worth saving."

Mr Rickhuss, who praised Newport East MP Jessica Morden for raising the issue in the House of Commons, is due to meet First Minister Mark Drakeford in the near future.

"I know the Welsh Government in the past has been very supportive of the steel industry, and realises its importance," he said.

Ms Morden used Welsh Questions in the House of Commons today to ask Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns MP for an urgent meeting about Orb, "to discuss what the Government will do".

Mr Cairns "absolutely" agreed to a meeting, and "to work and coordinate our response with her".

"I recognise the priority she has placed on this operation for some time and highlighted some of the risks and concerns she had some time ago," he said.

He said he has also spoken to Tata, and "we are working with BEIS (the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) in terms of challenging the issues that Tata are raising, to seek to bring them to the most competitive position possible".