A PETITION calling for politicians to support UK steel was handed to the Senedd on Tuesday, April 23, with 30,000 signatures.

Unite union members demonstrated outside of The Senedd to submit the petition which urges politicians from Wales to Westminster to protect the UK's steel industry.

Earlier this month,1,500 Unite member Tata steelworkers from Port Talbot and Newport Llanwern voted for industrial action.

This comes following the companies' decision to close its blast furnace and cut 2,800 jobs and will be the first time in 40 years that Port Talbot steelworkers have gone on strike.

Sharon Graham, Unite's general secretary said: "The UK government’s lack of support or any long-term plan for steel is being used by Tata to push through unnecessary and destructive plans on its workers.

"This is an industry crucial to the economy of South Wales and to our national security which can and should have a bright future. This petition underlines Unite members’ historic vote for strike action at Tata.

"The public and the steelworkers know there is another better way forward. In Germany, France and the Netherlands capacity is being retained and jobs protected as the sector transitions to green steel.

"That can happen here too - an incoming Labour government will invest £3 billion in UK steel. All Tata has to do is wait a few months. Unite will use every tool at its disposal, politically and industrially, to make Tata change course.”

Mr Ian Williams, a Tata steelworker said: "It’s not good enough for politicians to sit by and watch the decimation of these communities, they need to stand up, take notice and start making different choices about procurement and giving taxpayers’ money to companies like Tata without significant job guarantees.

“The way we have been treated is quite frankly a disgrace and workers are sick of being in limbo not knowing whether they will have a job in a few weeks’ time. They have made that very clear by voting for industrial action.

“We are grateful for the support we have had across all parties within the Welsh government who recognise how vital the steel industry is to Wales but this goes far beyond that, the UK government needs to act and they need to act now.”

The petition had amassed 30,000 signatures when it was handed to the Senedd to gain support from politicians.