JLR workers warn Cyrus Mistry against Tata Steel ‘fire sale’

By: | Published: April 5, 2016 9:15 PM

Supporting colleagues at troubled British unit of Tata Steel Europe, workers at JLR today warned Tata Group Chairman against a 'fire sale' of its UK steel business, saying "it wasn't the responsible thing to do".

cyrus mistry, tata steelSupporting colleagues at troubled British unit of Tata Steel Europe, workers at JLR today warned Tata Group Chairman against a ‘fire sale’ of its UK steel business, saying “it wasn’t the responsible thing to do”.

Supporting colleagues at troubled British unit of Tata Steel Europe, workers at JLR today warned Tata Group Chairman against a ‘fire sale’ of its UK steel business, saying “it wasn’t the responsible thing to do”.

Representatives for thousands of car workers at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) wrote to Mistry, demanding the conglomerate acts responsibly by selling Tata Steel UK as a whole entity and allowing time for a credible buyer to be found, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union which claims to have over 1.4 million members, said in a statement.

“Expressing alarm over reports that the Tata Group is ‘going through the motions’ and was looking to ‘dispose’ of its UK steel operations in a matter of weeks, the Unite representatives warned Mistry against a ‘fire sale’ of its UK steel business, saying it wasn’t the responsible thing to do,” it added.

The union further said the letter comes as leaders of Unite, Community and GMB met with business secretary Sajid Javid in the afternoon to demand government action to “save our steel ahead of Javid’s meeting with Mr Mistry in Mumbai tomorrow”, it added.

In their letter to Mistry, Bob Nason Unite chair of JLR and Ken Smith convenor at JLR Halewood, wrote that as union representing members in Jaguar Land Rover, “we are extremely concerned for our brothers and sisters working in the UK steel industry.”

“We are alarmed to read comments in the press that the company is looking to dispose of its UK steel operations within a short period of time. This is not something that a responsible employer would seek to do, given any sale and the necessary arrangements and due diligence will take some considerable time,” the letter added.

Reminding assurances that Mistry gave to the UK steel unions, the Union said it expected “the company would behave in a responsible manner and would sell to a responsible buyer if it had to”.

“Therefore we would ask you to confirm that Tata will act in a responsible manner in the UK, will allow sufficient time and resources to secure the business through a new buyer, that the whole of the Tata business in the UK is sold ‘as a whole’ and that you make it clear this is the course of action you will follow,” the letter said.

Tata Steel, one of the flagships of over USD 100-billion Tata Group, last week said it is exploring all options for portfolio restructuring, including potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts, amid a deteriorating financial performance of the arm in the last 12 months.

The move by one of the world’s largest steel makers to sell its business has threatened over 17,000 jobs in the UK amid a deepening crisis in the sector that the Indian conglomerate entered with much fanfare nearly a decade ago with USD 14-billion takeover of the Anglo-Dutch Corus.

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