London: A day after UK Business Minister Sajid Javid met Tata Group Chairman Cyrus Mistry over the future of its British steel unit, top trade union Unite Thursday demanded a "fuller debrief" on the next move of the government as well as the Indian conglomerate.
"This is an agonising time for these workers and their communities. So we look forward to a fuller debrief on the next stages from the minister on his return. Our members are sure to have questions on the details and the next steps," Unite said in a statement.
Javid yesterday held a marathon meeting with Mistry in Mumbai.
Javid said that Tatas will launch sale process by Monday for its cash-guzzling UK steel business and his government has promised to help find a serious buyer and promised to secure jobs of the thousands of workers at the plants there.
Stating that workers are "extremely concerned that this uncertainty will have wider ramifications", Unite said: "We also want to discuss the supply chain implications, where Unite has thousands of members who also face an uncertain future, so we will be seeking further urgent discussions with the minister on his return."
Acknowledging Tatas' stance that they want to make "this process as swift as possible", the union said "while we welcome their commitment to act as a responsible seller, we now need to focus on how this industry is safeguarded for the future."
Meanwhile, Javid after landing back in the country today, tweeted: "Back in Port Talbot today. Speaking to workers and getting under the bonnet of the business."
Unite, which claims to have more than 1.4 million members across industries the UK, asked the government to invest in the sector that is passing through "tough times".
It sought government intervention to stabilise and secure the UK steel industry through a series of measures.
"These include government investment to help the sector through these tough times and the UK government dropping opposition to European Commission proposals to place higher tariffs on cheap Chinese steel," it added.
Unite further said it also wants ministers to take swift action on energy costs so that UK steelworkers can compete on a level playing field with their European counterparts and to compel British steel to be used in British infrastructure and defence projects.