AS THE eyes of the nation turned to Newport this weekend as Newport County faced Manchester United in the FA Cup, steelworkers took the opportunity to raise awareness of the looming threat of job losses in Llanwern.

Over the next 18 months, the site’s multinational owner, Tata, plans to axe 2,500 jobs across the UK.

Most of these job losses will come at Port Talbot where both of the remaining blast furnaces are set to be replaced by an electric arc furnace that requires fewer workers.

The company plans to axe another 300 jobs within three years and unions are unhappy about the uncertainty that hangs over Llanwern.

Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East, joined Senedd members Jayne Bryant and John Griffiths on Newport City Footbridge ahead of Sunday afternoon's kick-off at Rodney Parade.

READ MORE: Union leader tells Tata: 'We want a cast-iron guarantee'

The UK Government has agreed to contribute £500 million for the cost of the electric arc furnace in Port Talbot – a deal it says prevented the possibility of a total Tata withdrawal from British steel.

The demonstration on Sunday afternoon, January 28, came just hours after business secretary Kemi Badenoch said the government grant was “not about the job losses” but “about the jobs saved”.

Ms Morden, a Labour MP, said the steelworkers had already called to meet with Ms Badenoch and were “furious” about her comment on GB News this weekend.

“Hearing the comments of the business secretary, I thought of the more than 900 steelworkers at Llanwern and Port Talbot who are worried for their jobs,” Ms Morden said.

“I especially thought of the young people who are starting out in life, who thought they were in a job for life where they could build a career.

South Wales Argus: Ms Morden is 'especially' thinking of the younger workers at Llanwern who thought they had a job for lifeMs Morden is 'especially' thinking of the younger workers at Llanwern who thought they had a job for life (Image: Tata Steel)

“They don’t agree that the 500 jobs being saved outweigh the thousands that will be lost over the next few years. I think the business secretary should reassess her view on this.”

According to Tata, most car makers in the UK use steel from Llanwern. It is the company's only site in the country with the capability for the “highest quality automotive grade galvanised steel”.

Asked how the Newport site fits into the company's global strategy, a spokesperson said: “The site is part of Tata Steel UK, which continues to play a key strategic role in Tata Steel Group’s global ambitions.”

Tata Steel’s Global CEO T. V. Narendran and UK CEO Rajesh Nair will be questioned by members of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee tomorrow, Wednesday.